Activity Overview

Grades: K-3rd
Length of Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Adult Support Needed?: Not likely, younger students may need help gathering the supplies.

We all live in a watershed and we all need water to live and grow. Both humans and steelhead trout depend on water to grow and thrive. In Santa Cruz, we get a lot of our drinking water from the San Lorenzo River. The San Lorenzo River is also home to steelhead trout. This means we share water from the San Lorenzo River with steelhead trout! In this activity, you will:

  • Build a model of the San Lorenzo River to explore what happens when both steelhead trout and humans need and use water.
  • Go on a virtual tour of the San Lorenzo River to learn about steelhead trout habitat in the San Lorenzo River.
  • Take Action by creating a poster to help people learn how to save water for both fish and humans.

Virtual Activity Guide

Join CWC staff as they guide youth through the activity. Youth are taken step by step through the activity. You may choose to use the Virtual Activity Guide instead of the Activity Guide PDF as all the same information is provided in this Virtual Activity Guide.




Supports Next Generation Science Standards:

  • K-ESS3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live. 
  • 2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats. 
  • 2-ESS2-2. Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
  • 3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.

Materials Needed:

  • Worksheet PDF: Save Water, Save Fish
  • Clear plastic container
  • Water
  • Turkey baster or large spoon
  • Toy fish or something that floats


1. View or print the worksheet. No printer? No problem! View the worksheet online and grab blank paper to follow along.

2. Investigate: Follow worksheet instructions to build a water model and experiment with different ways that human water use impacts water available for steelhead trout in the San Lorenzo River.

3. Watch this Coastal Watershed Council video to learn more about steelhead trout and their habitat in the San Lorenzo River.

4. Take Action: Follow worksheet instructions to draw a poster or make a video to teach other people about how to save water for steelhead trout. Need some ideas on how to save water? Watch this video by MidCoast Water.

5. (Optional) Share your poster or video with us! Send an email to or tag @CoastalWatershedCouncil on Instagram or Facebook.

Additional Resources:

Thank you to the City of Santa CruzCity of CapitolaSanta Cruz County and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for supporting the Coastal Watershed Council’s Watershed Rangers environmental education program.

To all of the Watershed Rangers students, teachers and program partners, although we will not be able to see you in classrooms, field trips and after school programs right now, we hope to provide you and your loved ones with online resources and activities during this time. We know that parents, teacher and lifelong learners are seeking ways to stay engaged and active, and we’re going to be working to bring activities to you through the Coastal Watershed Council blog. Please share these resources and activities with friends, neighbors and parents groups and stay tuned for more.

Additional resources:

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