Virtual Tour Overview

The San Lorenzo River is an important part of the Santa Cruz community for wildlife, plants and humans. A healthy San Lorenzo River is important for the well-being of our entire community. Join CWC staff Whitney Reynier and Mollie Behn on this interactive virtual tour to learn what makes the San Lorenzo River healthy. You’ll have a chance to learn a bit about the history of the river, observe important features of the river that help make it healthy, and share your ideas either in writing or by drawing.

Supports Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 4-ESS3-2. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.*
  • 4-ESS2-1. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
  • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

​Materials Needed:

  • Blank paper
  • Pencil

Additional activities related to keeping the San Lorenzo River healthy:

  • Activity: What Makes the San Lorenzo River Healthy? Follow-up your viewing of the above interactive virtual tour with some hands-on activities to continue to learn what makes the river healthy then take action by choosing to either paint a picture of a healthy river or survey your neighborhood for sources of pollution.
  • Activity: Nature’s Water Filter: Ready for some fun? Let’s clean our water the way nature does, using rocks, pebbles and sand. In this activity, you will investigate the differences between permeable and impermeable materials, learn about the importance of reducing stormwater runoff, and build a water filter using just sand, soil and cotton balls. 
  • Activity: Neighborhood Pollution Detectives: Get out and explore your neighborhood to learn about stormwater runoff and water pollution. Survey your neighborhood for signs of pollution and then learn how you can help prevent that pollution from getting into our storm drains, rivers and the Monterey Bay.
  • Activity: Let’s Stop Erosion Design Challenge: Ready for a challenge? Let’s stop stream bank erosion. Erosion is the movement of soil and sand from one place to another. You will investigate the causes of erosion, learn about tools to stop erosion and then design your very own tool to help stop erosion. 
  • Activity: Only Rain Down the Storm Drain: Want to help keep rivers clean and learn about your neighborhood at the same time? Investigate your neighborhood to find the nearest storm drain. Storm drains drain water from storms to prevent streets from flooding. Learn why it is important to keep storm drains clean and take action by teaching others about why it is important to only have rain go down our storm drains.
  • Activity: A Healthy River: Did you know that threatened and endangered species of fish in the San Lorenzo River rely on the same water that you do? The more water you use, the less there is for these critical species of fish. There are so many things you can do for a cleaner, healthier San Lorenzo River. Complete this activity to learn 10 different ways that you can help your river!
  • More coming soon!
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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