What’s new in San Lorenzo River news?

Read the Coastal Watershed Council blog to learn the latest on transforming the lower San Lorenzo River into a community destination by inspiring people to explore, enhance and protect this critical cultural and natural resource. You’ll read about CWC’s programs and the people like you that make them possible. You can also read about and see the Coastal Watershed Council on TV, by visiting CWC’s News & Media page. Check out the latest in San Lorenzo River news:
Heidi’s Adventures with the Watershed Rangers

Heidi’s Adventures with the Watershed Rangers

During a time of need, Environmental Educator Heidi Plowe came to the rescue by joining CWC’s Watershed Rangers education team with excitement and enthusiasm for nature-based education and stewardship. Read Heidi’s post about connecting youth with the San Lorenzo River in their backyard- In some cases literally!

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River-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening

River-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening

Photo Credit: Matt Pfieffer Did you know that you can help the San Lorenzo River right from your own home or garden? Learn some tips and best practices, as we summarize some of the lessons learned from Monterey Bay Friendly Landscaping and River-Friendly Landscaping...

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First Impressions and a Second Look at the San Lorenzo River

First Impressions and a Second Look at the San Lorenzo River

Does the water always look murky to you? What’s the deal with all that green muck in the water? Through exploration and discovery, Watershed Rangers students get to the bottom of some common misconceptions about the San Lorenzo River through CWC’s perspective-changing field trips.

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Can We Dig It? Yes We Can!

Can We Dig It? Yes We Can!

CWC’s Habitat Enhancement Site would be just a sliver of what it is today without the hard work and dedication of volunteers, including Watershed Rangers students! Get an update on how local 4th and 5th graders are transofrming the San Lorenzo River in partnership with Santa Cruz City Schools.

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Seeking Weekday River Restoration Volunteers

Seeking Weekday River Restoration Volunteers

The Coastal Watershed Council has recently turned more of its attention to our restoration site with the hiring of me, Kaiya, your friendly neighborhood River Ecologist. And we need your help! We are asking volunteers like you to lend a helping hand to our restoration...

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Watershed Rangers: Stories of Love

Watershed Rangers: Stories of Love

Watershed Rangers students love being part of the San Lorenzo River stewardship community, but don’t take our word for it! Check out some of the great things CWC’s students have to say about their experiences in Watershed Rangers.

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Introducing CWC River Ecologist, Kaiya!

Introducing CWC River Ecologist, Kaiya!

CWC is thrilled to welcome its newest staff member, Kaiya Giuliano-Monroy, who joined this river revitalizing team in December. Kaiya, who grew up in the San Lorenzo River watershed, jumped right into her new role leading teams of volunteers in planting new native...

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End Of Year River Giving to CWC & Others

End Of Year River Giving to CWC & Others

Many reasons and many ways for you to give to CWC. We’re also highlighting some other organizations worthy of your support and we invite you to give to them as well. See who we’re including.

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The Meaning of Aulintak

The Meaning of Aulintak

Before the names of Santa Cruz and the San Lorenzo River, the village along the river where it met the ocean was called “Aulintak” by the Awaswas-speaking Uypi tribe. Today, those who live where Aulintak once stood are honoring the name of this place by incorporating it into a new neighborhood storm drain mural in Poet’s Park located in the heart of the Beach Flats neighborhood.

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Why Flags?

Why Flags?

As you meander along the east side of the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, you have likely noticed the sea of yellow, blue and pink and white landscaping flags covering the riverbank between the Soquel Avenue and Laurel Street bridges. You may have wondered, "What are these...

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Coastal Watershed Council Goes Back to School!

Coastal Watershed Council Goes Back to School!

When opening one of the Coastal Watershed Council’s (CWC) grade-specific science journals, you’ll see captioned photos describing a Watershed Ranger as someone who studies, protects, and teaches people about nature.  If you live in Santa Cruz County it’s likely that...

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Snapshot Day 2021 Lists San Lorenzo River as Area of Concern

Snapshot Day 2021 Lists San Lorenzo River as Area of Concern

Since Earth Day 2000, volunteers have assembled on the first Saturday morning of May each year to collect water quality samples from water bodies that enter the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This decades-long data set has become a valuable source of water...

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How Might We Manage the Lagoon Better?

How Might We Manage the Lagoon Better?

The City of Santa Cruz is changing the way the San Lorenzo Lagoon is managed through an innovative engineering solution that addresses flooding, fish habitat and public safety needs.

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A Celebration of Exploring the San Lorenzo River this Summer

A Celebration of Exploring the San Lorenzo River this Summer

If you walked along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk or the railroad trestle bridge this summer, you might have seen budding scientists investigating the waters of the San Lorenzo River and getting some much needed time outdoors!  This summer, CWC engaged 78 youth in outdoor...

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Success in Reducing Trash and Litter to Santa Cruz Waterways

Success in Reducing Trash and Litter to Santa Cruz Waterways

Photo credit: SCVURPPP The Coastal Watershed Council works with the City of Santa Cruz Public Works Department to help eliminate trash entering the lower San Lorenzo River. CWC works with neighbors along the lower San Lorenzo River and with youth through CWC’s...

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Summer Reading with Watershed Rangers and Bookshop Santa Cruz

Summer Reading with Watershed Rangers and Bookshop Santa Cruz

This summer, Bookshop Santa Cruz's popular summer reading program is back! Kids in grades K-12 who read 6 books—at least 3 from Bookshop's recommended reading list and up to 3 of their choice—will get to read terrific, age-tailored books, and earn excellent rewards...

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22nd Annual Snapshot Day

22nd Annual Snapshot Day

The first Saturday in May is just around the corner, and with it comes the 22nd Annual Snapshot Day! Due to safety precautions, Snapshot Day will look a little different this year than in years past, yet remains a great way to get outdoors, to explore your watershed...

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Homelessness at the River: CWC’s Position

Homelessness at the River: CWC’s Position

How do we protect the river AND honor the challenges and complexity of homelessness? CWC’s advocacy positions carefully balance being river advocates and respecting the dignity of people experiencing homelessness. There’s no denying that we’re seeing the negative effects on the river and Riverwalk from illegal camping in the riparian zone. What can a watershed nonprofit do about it?

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How Are CWC Donors Feeling?

How Are CWC Donors Feeling?

How are we doing with the generous financial support shared by our donors? Our strategy and theory of change start with listening and learning, so we’re doing that and sharing what you, our donors, are saying.

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Santa Cruz Gives 2020 – Everybody Wins!

Santa Cruz Gives 2020 – Everybody Wins!

Santa Cruz Gives raised over $700,000 in an end of year fundraising campaign to remember. Congratulations to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter Foundation, who pulled ahead of the Coastal Watershed Council in late December to lead all 40 nonprofits in funds raised....

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Informed Self Care in Nature

Informed Self Care in Nature

The Coastal Watershed Council is committed to supporting you in safely enjoying the Santa Cruz Riverwalk and San Lorenzo River. As you strive to keep up with the changing COVID situation in Santa Cruz County, now there's a new resource to turn to: Lookout Santa Cruz...

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The National Geographic Society Supports Watershed Rangers

The National Geographic Society Supports Watershed Rangers

Have you ever picked up a yellow-spined National Geographic magazine, flipped through the pages and explored the world right from your own couch? Many of us have those fond memories from our youth. And in a way, we were distance learning through these experiences. We...

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Chinatown Bridge Brightens the Riverwalk

Chinatown Bridge Brightens the Riverwalk

Santa Cruzans love our local history. Now there's a beautiful art piece connecting us to our past, right by the river. The Santa Cruz City Council formally named the pedestrian bridge from San Lorenzo Park to the Galleria and Trader Joe's as Santa Cruz's "Chinatown...

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CWC Chosen as 1 of 5 Lookout Civic Partners

CWC Chosen as 1 of 5 Lookout Civic Partners

Many of you are enjoying the recently launched digital news platform Lookout Santa Cruz. They're a refreshing addition to the local news landscape and they've crafted a unique approach to fostering a thriving community. They're educating and inspiring readers who...

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Everybody Loves A Winner!

Everybody Loves A Winner!

The Coastal Watershed Council is a small organization, but that isn't keeping us from leading the pack in Santa Cruz Gives. CWC's work to realize Santa Cruz's vision for the San Lorenzo River is clearly resonating with generous donors in the community. What vision?...

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Local News Looking Out for the Environment

Local News Looking Out for the Environment

Like so many of you, at CWC we're always seeking new ways to learn more about the issues that matter most to us. As our community invests in a thriving local news ecosystem, we're eager to see an increased focus on the environment in local reporting as we welcome home...

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The Difference a Dedicated Group of Volunteers Can Make

The Difference a Dedicated Group of Volunteers Can Make

From the early summer until the first rains come in, CWC volunteers focus on maintenance at the habitat enhancement site along the lower San Lorenzo River including watering and weeding the native seedlings, helping them become established and thrive during these dry...

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Support CWC Through Santa Cruz Gives

Support CWC Through Santa Cruz Gives

The San Lorenzo River is forgotten by too many residents who may not realize our drinking water relies on it. The Coastal Watershed Council is the only organization solely focused on revitalizing this river that was the reason Santa Cruz was founded in the first...

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Distance Learning Activities Support Santa Cruz County Youth

Distance Learning Activities Support Santa Cruz County Youth

The start of this school year is different than any other. As teachers, parents and families navigate crisis after crisis in our community, CWC is working collaboratively to ensure that thousands of K-8th grade students in our community are able to continue to feel supported, remain engaged and learn about our changing environment. CWC is preparing meaningful distance learning activities that engage students in exploration and investigation of local environmental issues affecting the health of the San Lorenzo River.

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Discover New Ways to Explore Your River

Discover New Ways to Explore Your River

Scavenger Hunt Walking and bicycling along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk is really fun, but wouldn’t it be more fun with a scavenger hunt in hand? Notice things you haven’t seen before, stop and listen in new places, observe wildlife, and more! [button...

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Hilary Bryant’s Board Farewell

Hilary Bryant’s Board Farewell

As I complete my service as a proud member of the Coastal Watershed Council Board of Directors, I wish to thank our community and share some observations. I am genuinely grateful for the assistance that so many of you provide to transform the lower San Lorenzo River...

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San Lorenzo River Scavenger Hunts

San Lorenzo River Scavenger Hunts

Perfect for a walk or an exciting stop-and-go bike ride along the San Lorenzo River, these new scavenger hunts provide a great opportunity to see and hear the beauty and life surrounding the Santa Cruz Riverwalk. Fun for all ages, each interactive search is about 1.5 miles and takes at least 30 minutes. Have fun out there!

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Riverwalk Tour with Executive Director Greg Pepping

Join the Santa Cruz Warriors and Kaiser Permanente for a virtual river walk with Executive Director of the Coastal Watershed Council, Greg Pepping. Greg will lead you on a stroll through the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, show you certain flowers...

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Wishing Whitney Well in Her Move

Wishing Whitney Well in Her Move

CWC River Scientist Whitney Reynier is returning back to her roots in the Columbia River Gorge in the Pacific Northwest. She'll miss the Santa Cruz sunshine, bike commuting to work using the Santa Cruz Riverwalk and interacting with the San Lorenzo River community on...

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CWC Stands With Black Lives Matter

CWC Stands With Black Lives Matter

The Coastal Watershed Council stands with Black Lives Matter, condemns hate, racism and violence against Black people and commits to practicing anti-racism, allyship and intersectional environmentalism. As a leader of a mostly white organization, I will start with listening and learning, which matches our organization’s strategy or “theory of change,” to transform the San Lorenzo River into a community destination that Santa Cruz is proud of and drawn to…

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San Lorenzo River Action Projects Guide

San Lorenzo River Action Projects Guide

You can help protect our San Lorenzo River! This Action Projects Guide provides fun opportunities and creative ways to learn about and protect the San Lorenzo River, our main source of drinking water and habitat to hundreds of animal and plant species.

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Chinatown Bridge Update

Chinatown Bridge Update

Not all experiences should be remembered. If we recall our struggles too crisply, the burden may be heavy. On the other hand, forgotten memories cost us the warmth and appreciation from special moments in our lives. Ideally, we have full recall of the highlights and...

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Celebrating Snapshot Day Together While Apart

Celebrating Snapshot Day Together While Apart

Although we can’t gather together for Snapshot Day this year, learn about the variety of online resources we have for you to investigate water quality at home! Also learn about a new water quality trend report developed by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and based on 20 years of Snapshot Day data.

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Santa Cruz Riverwalk Re-Opens

Santa Cruz Riverwalk Re-Opens

The Santa Cruz Riverwalk has re-opened. If you live within walking or biking distance, now is the perfect time to get outdoors and visit the lower San Lorenzo River. Check out CWC's newly published activities for you and your family to enjoy while abiding by the...

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Video Storytime: San Lorenzo River Stories of Grandma Steel

Video Storytime: San Lorenzo River Stories of Grandma Steel

Curl up and get cozy, it’s story time! Join a reading of the Coastal Watershed Council’s San Lorenzo River Stories of Grandma Steel, a story about of a spawner steelhead trout named Grandma Steel telling young steelhead trout alevin about the history of the San Lorenzo River and the unique life cycle of the steelhead trout. The video concludes with an opportunity for youth to write down or share with someone else what they learned from the story.

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Interactive Virtual Tour: Native Plants of the San Lorenzo River

Interactive Virtual Tour: Native Plants of the San Lorenzo River

Native plants are an important part of the San Lorenzo River. Join CWC staff Whitney Reynier and Mollie Behn on this interactive virtual tour to learn more about the local plants that call the San Lorenzo River home and why they are so important to protecting the health of the San Lorenzo River.

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Interactive Virtual Tour: What Makes a River Healthy?

Interactive Virtual Tour: What Makes a River Healthy?

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.

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Interactive Virtual Tour: Exploring the San Lorenzo River

Interactive Virtual Tour: Exploring the San Lorenzo River

Explore the San Lorenzo River from your home with CWC staff Mollie Behn, Sam Adelson and Whitney Reynier with this interactive virtual tour. Listen to the sounds of the river and observe the plants and animals that call the San Lorenzo River home. You’ll be surprised what you might see and hear.

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Santa Cruz Riverwalk Temporarily Closed

Santa Cruz Riverwalk Temporarily Closed

Over the last few weeks, we've all experienced a tremendous amount of rapid change as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, shelter in place and protect the most vulnerable in our community. As of midnight on April 8, the Santa Cruz Riverwalk park and all Santa Cruz...

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Spring Has Sprung at the San Lorenzo River

For CWC Executive Director Greg Pepping spring is a time of hope, renewal and growth. With the dry winter we've had, CWC is hoping for rain to replenish our river and nourish all the native seedlings volunteers just like you have planted....

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The CWC Team Welcomes Educator Meg DeCoite

The CWC Team Welcomes Educator Meg DeCoite

Currently a senior at UCSC studying marine biology, Meg DeCoite is thrilled to come onboard as CWC’s After-School Educator leading the Watershed Rangers programs at Westlake and DeLaveaga elementary schools. This environmental education program connects, inspires and...

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What Does Greg Pepping Love Most?

The San Lorenzo River not only provides drinking water to our community but also the opportunity to connect with nature right in the heart of town. Hear CWC's Executive Director, Greg Pepping, share what he most loves about our river and...

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Falling in Love with the San Lorenzo River

Falling in Love with the San Lorenzo River

Watershed Rangers wave goodbye to the San Lorenzo River at the end of a CWC field tripIf you’ve ever fallen in love with a special someone, there are some telltale signs you may recognize: The way your eyes widen when you see them from afar, the smile and giggles that...

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Growing Love for the River

Growing Love for the River

Here at CWC, we have a motto: "Healthy Watersheds, Thriving Communities". We believe that when people care for the San Lorenzo River, learn about its significance and build a connection to nature, it benefits not only the river but the broader Santa Cruz community....

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The Impact of Watershed Rangers in Action

The Impact of Watershed Rangers in Action

When students finish CWC's Watershed Rangers environmental education program, they raise their hand and take a pledge: “As a Watershed Ranger, I promise to protect and care for our community and the San Lorenzo River. I promise to continue to explore the San Lorenzo...

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Celebrating CWC’s 2019 Accomplishments

Celebrating CWC’s 2019 Accomplishments

Thanks to all of the hundreds of volunteers, donors and supporters like you, 2019 was a great year for the Coastal Watershed Council! It's because of you that: CWC advocated for the commemoration of Santa Cruz's historic Chinese neighborhoods with the naming of the...

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Coastal Bush Lupine

Coastal Bush Lupine

Every second Saturday of the month, CWC leads River Health Days where volunteers help plant and care for a variety of native plant species to increase biodiversity and habitat complexity and support a healthy river ecosystem. Coastal Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus) is...

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End of the Year Marks a New Beginning for Watershed Rangers

End of the Year Marks a New Beginning for Watershed Rangers

"As a Watershed Ranger, I promise to protect and care for our community and the San Lorenzo River. I promise to continue to explore the San Lorenzo River, ask what I can do to help out and share what I know with others." --Watershed Ranger Pledge As 2019 comes to a...

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Celebrating 2019 Volunteers of the Year

Celebrating 2019 Volunteers of the Year

Pictured above: Carol, Pedro and Felker Street neighbors celebrate a successful storm drain mural design workshop.Taking care of the San Lorenzo River really does take a village. And oh, what a village the San Lorenzo River is blessed with! 2019 experienced a record...

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Donate to the Coastal Watershed Council

As the season turns and we begin to consider gift-giving, many of us realize we don’t want to give more “stuff.” Instead, you can make a gift that helps transform the San Lorenzo River - and you can share the river with...

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“Can We Say ‘Thank You’ Again?”

“Can We Say ‘Thank You’ Again?”

Throughout any Coastal Watershed Council field trip to the San Lorenzo River, to the Montery Bay Sanctuary Exploration Center, to Loch Lomond or any of the locations that CWC's Watershed Rangers K-8th grade students visit, you'll hear CWC educators Sam Adelson and...

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Habitat Highlights from the Dry Season

Habitat Highlights from the Dry Season

During the dry season in summer and fall, the banks of the San Lorenzo River turn from green to gold. Native plants finish flowering and go dormant, conserving their resources until wet weather returns and their cycle beings anew. While native plants wait patiently...

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Are You Ready for Rain?

Are you ready for rain? Pollution affecting the San Lorenzo River comes from many, disperse sources known as nonpoint source pollution. When it rains, pollutants from all across the watershed are transported into the San Lorenzo River and...

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Watershed Rangers Play with Hydrology

Watershed Rangers Play with Hydrology

A second-grade after-school student at Bay View Elementary School whips her hair in a circle, flinging water drops all over her fellow Watershed Rangers classmates as they squeal in a fit of laughter. Although the rainy season has not yet arrived in Santa Cruz and...

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How Do You Get Ready for Rain?

How Do You Get Ready for Rain?

Before the winter rains come, how will you get ready for rain? The first significant rainfall of the year scours your streets and neighborhoods and will move everything in its path into local waterways. Heavy rain picks up and moves bacteria, oil and grease, sediment,...

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Common Rush: A Defensive Line Along the River

Common Rush: A Defensive Line Along the River

In the spirit of learning, the Coastal Watershed Council invites you to explore and learn more about native plants growing along the lower San Lorenzo River. Every second Saturday of the month, CWC leads River Health Days where volunteers help plant, water and care...

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Connecting 2,700 Youth to Nature

For CWC and the 2,700 K-8th grade students who will participate in CWC's Watershed Rangers program this year, back to school means back to the San Lorenzo River. Each year, CWC collaborates with over 25 schools, clubs and community centers...

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CWC’s Environmental Leaders Fellowship

CWC’s Environmental Leaders Fellowship

Written by: Anna Maldonado CWC Environmental Leaders Fellow   Growing up in Santa Cruz, I was always aware of the San Lorenzo River running through town. After finishing my second year at UC San Diego studying Earth Sciences, I was...

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Watershed Rangers Head Back to School

Watershed Rangers Head Back to School

Although the weather in Santa Cruz still indicates summer break, it's time to sharpen pencils and put on that backpack. Back to school season is here and it influences almost all of us in one way or another. Maybe you have gone shopping to make sure your kids have...

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Santa Cruz Paints Its First Storm Drain Murals

Santa Cruz Paints Its First Storm Drain Murals

Photos Courtesy of Jake J. Thomas Photo and Coastal Watershed Council staff. Storm drain murals beautify and increase public art in local neighborhoods, a priority for river neighbors, and help people visualize how their local storm drain is connected to...

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20th Annual Snapshot Day Results and Storymap

20th Annual Snapshot Day Results and Storymap

The results of the 20th Annual Snapshot Day are here!During Snapshot Day 2019, 60 volunteers collected field measurements and water samples from rivers, streams and sloughs across Santa Cruz County. To determine the health of waterbodies sampled during...

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Celebrating River Health Day Success

Celebrating River Health Day Success

The Coastal Watershed Council's River Health Day program engages corporate teams, community volunteers and youth groups to remove invasive species, plant native plants and improve ecosystem health along lower San Lorenzo River. In addition to...

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A Note from the Executive Director

A Note from the Executive Director

 A Note from the Executive Director Regarding Meander 2019  As I worked on Meander with CWC’s Board, staff, volunteers, vendors and planning team, I was regularly considering what special stories to share with you at Meander. I reflected on growing up in Iowa and...

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Pick up Pet Waste to Protect the San Lorenzo River!

Pick up Pet Waste to Protect the San Lorenzo River!

On average, a dog produces 3/4 pounds, around 340 grams, of waste a day. In each gram of poop there are 23 million coliform bacteria. That means every time you pick up after your pet, you stop millions of billions of harmful bacteria from infecting people and dogs swimming downstream.

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20th Annual Snapshot Day Success

20th Annual Snapshot Day Success

Thank you to all of the community scientists and other volunteers who attended the 20th Annual Snapshot Day on Saturday, May 4! Snapshot Day is the largest and longest running single-day water quality monitoring event in California. Every year, trained...

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