Adopt A Local Legend

Local Legend Adoption Program

Each purchase protects a special local species.

We offer the perfect way to show your love to the local legends of the Great Lakes! When you adopt one of our watershed's local legends, you are showing your concern and respect for the Thumb Coast's environment and wildlife in the most meaningful way. Your symbolic adoption supports our unique stewardship and conservation programs, and helps us protect these impressive sentinels of the watershed - our local legends.

Adoption Levels

Individual / Family:
Purchase an adoption for yourself or have us mail it to someone as a gift.

Business / Group:
Includes a professional double-frame with custom certificate; also available to sponsor a school, youth club, or scout group.

Teacher / Classroom:
Includes an in-person classroom presentation about Great Lakes Lake Sturgeon Conservation. This level is only available for Lake Sturgeon adoptions. 

Adoption Package

When you adopt a legend, you will receive:

  • Personalized certificate of adoption
  • Spotlight species card
  • Adorable soft plush
  • Species conservation materials
  • Unique code to your tagged species
  • Periodic updates as part of ongoing monitoring efforts
  • Subscription to Friends of the St. Clair River's Thumb Coast Watershed Guide

Packages are shipped USPS priority mail and take up to 10 business days to arrive. We accept international adoptions from Canada and beyond. For questions, contact our Program Assistant at

Lake Sturgeon Adoption

Protect a Living Dinosaur

For 150 million years, lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) have been swimming the waters of the Great Lakes. They outlived the dinosaurs, yet in one sturgeon’s lifetime, humans have brought the Great Lakes' largest fish to the brink of extinction.

Recently, lake sturgeon in the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair have experienced levels of recovery with help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. To get a better understanding of their life cycle and movements, biologists are recording the abundance, distribution, age, growth and health of the species. While strict regulations have been put in place to limit fishing, pollution cleanup and habitat restoration are driving factors in the restoration of lake sturgeon.

Your adopted lake sturgeon is marked with a unique microchip allowing permanent identification of your fish. If your adopted sturgeon is recovered as part of ongoing state and federal research efforts, we will notify you.

YES! I want to adopt a Lake Sturgeon

Monarch Butterfly Adoption

Protect a Migration Master

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are well-known for their brilliant orange and black markings. A remarkable feat of monarchs is their biannual migration from Michigan every fall to overwinter in the forested mountains of Mexico — a 1,000-mile journey. Monarchs are very picky eaters; caterpillars can only eat one small group of plants: native milkweeds (Asclepias). It's these two unique behaviors combined that have made monarch butterflies vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss, exposure to insecticides, and changes in our climate.

Scientists and community science programs, like Monarch Watch, have been tracking monarch populations for over twenty years to monitor changes in their populations. These scientists and volunteers work together to tag monarch wings with a small sticker containing a unique code to track their migration.

Your adopted monarch butterfly is marked with a unique code allowing permanent identification of your butterfly. If your adopted butterfly is recovered as part of ongoing international research efforts, we will notify you.

YES! I want to adopt a Monarch Butterfly

The Local Legend adoption program is supported by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.