What’s new in San Lorenzo River news?
Plant Profile: Deerweed by UCSC Intern An Do
Photo Credit: Flickr Commons Every second Saturday of the month, CWC (Coastal Watershed Council) 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...
Loving the San Lorenzo River
In February, this month of love, we’d like to share a few quick stories about people who LOVE the San Lorenzo River through CWC’s Watershed Rangers youth education program.
Seeking Artist to Guide San Lorenzo Park Community Project
Vibrant parks are critical infrastructure in healthy, equitable communities. San Lorenzo Park is the largest park in downtown Santa Cruz, directly adjacent to the San Lorenzo River and diverse riverside neighborhoods. The park was created in the redevelopment project...
Preparing Neighborhoods for San Lorenzo River Flood Impacts
Residents who live along the lower San Lorenzo River are predicted to experience more extreme storms and flooding as a result of climate change. The Beach Flats and Lower Ocean neighborhoods, which straddle the mouth of the San Lorenzo River where it enters the...
Significant River Levee Management Change Mandated by FEMA
Originally published December 12, 2022, updated on December 14, 2022, with results from City Council action There have always been requirements to maintain the levees following specific protocols, since their construction by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s....
Climate Change Education in Watershed Rangers
How are students in CWC’s Watershed Rangers program being introduced to climate change? Dive into this article to learn how climate change education and social and emotional learning are integrated into our curriculum.
Plant Profile: Beach Strawberry
Photo Credit: Flickr Commons Every second Saturday of the month, CWC (Coastal Watershed Council) 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...
Gratitude for a Great Year
At CWC, we're so grateful for all of the volunteers, supporters, program partners and participants and community members that have made this year great. Your generosity, energy, and support make good things happen every day at the Coastal Watershed Council. Check out...
Welcoming Maria Rocha as CWC’s Environmental Educator!
This fall, the Coastal Watershed Council welcomed Maria Rocha as our new Environmental Educator! Already, Maria has led engaging classroom lessons, field trips and after-school programs with our Watershed Rangers program. In her role, she engages elementary...
San Lorenzo Park Phased Benchlands Camp Closure Begins
Starting today, two significant efforts led by the City of Santa Cruz will begin along the lower San Lorenzo River - the required annual maintenance to improve flood capacity in the leveed channel surrounding the river and the phased closure of the Benchlands camp in...
Abating Flooding along an Urban River
Managing an urban river requires a delicate balance to protect people and the surrounding environment. Each year, the City of Santa Cruz conducts its annual required San Lorenzo River Maintenance Project in order to help stormwater safely travel through downtown Santa...
Watershed Rangers Impact Beyond the Environment
CWC’s Watershed Rangers afterschool program engages students to learn about and take action to help the San Lorenzo River. And it is more than that. A key aspect of the program is the impact it has on youth beyond what they learn about the environment. With a focus on...
Summer Adventures End with a Splash!
How does CWC celebrate the end of another phenomenal round of Summer Fun Watershed Rangers? By going back to the River, of course!
California Native Plants at Santa Cruz Riverwalk
Here is a guide to California natives at CWC’S restoration site located on the Santa Cruz Riverwalk. All plants were planted by its lovely volunteers, interns, and staff members.
There’s Plenty of San Lorenzo River to Share!
This week, youth in CWC’s summer programs encountered dozens of wild animals on the San Lorenzo River’s estuary beach- Their boisterous friends and neighbors! Find out how CWC supports community and youth development through summer river exploration.
Native Plants Create an Oasis
Native plants are important for so many reasons including pest management, increasing biodiversity, mitigating the loss of habitat from climate change, taking toxins out of our drinking water, enriching soil, reducing erosion, slowing down runoff, cleaning our air, and so much more.
Santa Cruz City Council Honors CWC River Ecologist Kaiya Giuliano-Monroy
Congratulations to Kaiya, who the Santa Cruz City Council honored with a 2022 Volunteer of the Year award for her excellent work coordinating volunteers to care for the San Lorenzo River ecosystem at the Santa Cruz Riverwalk Park, owned and operated by the City of...
An Introduction to San Lorenzo River Steelhead Trout
Steelhead trout of the San Lorenzo River have an incredible land-to-sea connection and are a very important part of both ocean and river ecosystems. Read on to learn more about local steelhead, their history, and the future of steelhead trout conservation!
CWC Welcomes Linda Cover to Board of Directors
Regular Riverwalk visitors may recognize the Coastal Watershed Council’s newest board member Linda Cover who frequently rides the Riverwalk on her signature yellow bicycle. Beyond keeping a daily pulse on what’s happening at the Riverwalk, Linda brings her experience as an artist, educator, community organizer, environmentalist and friend of the river to the Coastal Watershed Council Board of Directors.
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...
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.
CWC Announces Laurie Egan as Executive Director
The Coastal Watershed Council is thrilled to announce the...
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.
Share Your Feedback on the City of Santa Cruz’s Climate Action Plan 2030
The City of Santa Cruz seeks feedback on the next stage of the community-wide Climate Action Plan 2030 development process! Draft actions for the Climate Action Plan 2030 are now available for review and feedback in an online, interactive tool called Consider. It is...
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.
CWC Executive Director to Step Down
Greg Pepping will leave CWC after 12 years and is working with the Board of Directors and staff to prepare CWC to evolve into its next chapter of watershed protection.
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...
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.
An Evolving CWC Board of Directors Invites You
This blog outlines how CWC views the disaster of this past week as sad, infuriating – and a potential turning point for the organization to successfully advocate for the San Lorenzo River.
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.
CWC’s Version of Decolonization 101
Historically and currently a mostly white organization, CWC is exploring how we might step into bold work to save our species.
Once, Twice, Three Times a Ranger!
Seasoned afterschool Watershed Rangers support newer students in developing stewardship action projects!
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...
Lighting the Way (and the Riverwalk)!
How to light a Riverwalk but shield the river creatures from our human-needed light.
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...
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...
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.
Effort and Progress in River Advocacy
Are there still laws that protect the health of rivers, or have they been overturned, or ignored?
Steelhead Trout Need Our Help
How can I help threatened steelhead during this drought?
CWC Teacher Registration – Bay View
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...
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...
Beach Flats Families to Co-Design a New Storm Drain Mural
CWC, artist Irene Juarez O’Connell and Beach Flats Families collaborate on Santa Cruz’s next storm drain mural along the San Lorenzo River!
Estate Planning Meets River Kids
What’s the connection between your financial planning and healthy kids, water quality and river habitat?
School Year Reflections
How did the Coastal Watershed Council’s education program find success in a school year for the record books?
Cruise the Entire San Lorenzo River!
This is the coolest river map you’ve ever seen. Really!
Students Establish Deep Roots for Stewardship
Watershed Rangers students get busy planting native species on their campus’ new bioswale!
The River at the CORE of our County
City and County of Santa Cruz reinvest in CORE Investments.
Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency Awarded to CWC
How is CWC doing on transparency standards?
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...
Field trips return this summer!
Youth will once again be able to enjoy field trips to the San Lorenzo River this summer as part of summer camps and summer schools.
Botanic And Luxe Raises River Funds!
Local women-owned lifestyle business commits Annual Earth Day Sale proceeds to the river their store is right next to!
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...
Back in Action at Bay View!
CWC is back in action at Bay View Elementary school engaging students in hands-on exploration activities on campus!
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?
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.
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....
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...
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...
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...
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...
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?...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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...
Art + Science = Our Environment: A Discussion at Radius Gallery
This year, the Ebb & Flow River Arts Festival is coming to you, providing unique and interesting ways to engage with arts and science content about the San Lorenzo River and local ecosystems. Artist Yolande Harris explored the theme of...
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!
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...
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...
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…
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Interactive Virtual Tour: Steelhead Trout Habitat in the San Lorenzo River
Steelhead trout are unique fish that spend part of their life in the San Lorenzo River and part of their life in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Get to know steelhead trout and their habitat in the San Lorenzo River by joining Educators Mollie Behn and Sam Adelson on this interactive virtual tour.
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...
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....
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...
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...
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...
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....
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...
2020: A Milestone Year for the Coastal Watershed Council
Executive Director Greg Pepping talks about the past, present and future for Coastal Watershed Council, including an exciting new public art project commemorating Santa Cruz's Chinatowns.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
CWC Embarks On the Next Phase of San Lorenzo River Improvements
Thank you for being part of the movement to transform the lower San Lorenzo River into a community destination that Santa Cruz is proud of and drawn to. Thanks to you, CWC is exceeding our goals of inspiring more youth and their families...
“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...
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...
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...