The Coastal Watershed Council takes a 3-tiered approach to evaluating the health of central coast watersheds by assessing the biological, physical and chemical health of the watershed. This holistic approach helps us understand what the limiting factors might be for a particular stream or river and it helps us quantify whether a stream is meeting standards established by the Clean Water Act and the Federal Endangered Species Act.

The CWC individually designs watershed monitoring programs for each of our focus streams based on information such as presence of endangered species, types of land use, and established goals of the monitoring program.

The data collected by the volunteers is summarized into data reports which are provided to local resource agencies such as the California Department of Fish and Game and the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The data reports are also provided to local government and community organizations, including coordination with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Water Quality Protection Program.

Learn more about what we monitor.