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:
Recap of the 2024 State of the San Lorenzo River Symposium

Recap of the 2024 State of the San Lorenzo River Symposium

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the ninth State of the San Lorenzo River Symposium on April 13 at Felton Community Hall! This symposium holds special significance as the only recurring public event focused solely on the San Lorenzo River. This year included...

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Uplifting Community Stories to Interpret River Public Art  

Uplifting Community Stories to Interpret River Public Art  

Each piece of public artwork near the San Lorenzo River has stories worth sharing – stories that can enhance visitors’ understanding of the piece itself, as well as the diverse community that inspired it. CWC is kicking off a new grant that will interpret three pieces...

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Art Kit Creates Connections to the San Lorenzo River

Art Kit Creates Connections to the San Lorenzo River

The arts are a powerful tool that youth (and adults) can use to express themselves and process their emotions. They also offer an opportunity to connect young people with nature. Jessica Carmen, one half of CWC’s Artists in Residence The Jams, is also a passionate...

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CWC Welcomes Emma Ussat to Board of Directors

CWC Welcomes Emma Ussat to Board of Directors

The Coastal Watershed Council is excited to announce the newest addition to our Board of Directors, Emma Ussat! Emma currently works as the Senior Community Engagement Manager at Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship, where she helps build trails and communities....

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Jim Sandoval Joins CWC’s Board of Directors

Jim Sandoval Joins CWC’s Board of Directors

The Coastal Watershed Council is pleased to welcome Jim Sandoval to our Board of Directors, following his recent retirement as the City of Los Altos Public Works Director & City Engineer. We are thrilled to draw from Jim’s extensive expertise and experience...

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Santa Cruz High Student Shares Snapshot Day Experience

Santa Cruz High Student Shares Snapshot Day Experience

In 2023, Santa Cruz High School student Talia Gurdak got her hands wet in the name of local watershed health by volunteering for Snapshot Day in Santa Cruz County. Talia and her team the “Swampy Samplers” braved pouring rain to collect samples for water quality...

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Introducing CWC’s New Board Chair, Eva Salas

Introducing CWC’s New Board Chair, Eva Salas

CWC is pleased to announce that Eva Salas has stepped into the role of Board Chair, after previously serving in the role of Secretary. Eva is a San Lorenzo River neighbor who feels privileged to live near the Santa Cruz Riverwalk with her husband and son. The...

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Creating an Emergency Preparedness Comic Book

Creating an Emergency Preparedness Comic Book

Contributing Author The Jams (Jessica Carmen and Augie WK), CWC Artists-in-ResidenceThe Jams are embedded with CWC for a year-long artist residency supported by the Central Coast Creative Corps to communicate about flooding and emergency preparedness through public...

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Winter Birds at the San Lorenzo River

Winter Birds at the San Lorenzo River

Birds are a real attraction at the San Lorenzo River during any time of year. An estimated 122 bird species frequent the river, and its lower stretch is considered a birding “hotspot” in Santa Cruz. While spring and fall are often thought to be prime seasons for...

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Cultivating Diverse River Stewards

Cultivating Diverse River Stewards

Everyone can play a role in caring for the San Lorenzo River. That’s why CWC is cultivating unique groups of river stewards across our community, from unhoused neighbors in the Downtown Streets Team to Watershed Rangers from Gault and Bay View Elementary Schools. With...

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CWC Finishes First in Santa Cruz Gives!

CWC Finishes First in Santa Cruz Gives!

It's hard to overstate the success of the Coastal Watershed Council's 2023 Santa Cruz Gives campaign, which you made possible. Thanks to your generosity, we finished at the top of the leaderboard with a total of $62,215 from 50 donors! This made us eligible for 7.4%...

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Results of CWC’s 2023 Donor Engagement Survey

Results of CWC’s 2023 Donor Engagement Survey

The results are in! In the fall of 2023, we set out to understand which topics resonated most with CWC’s donor community, and how donors like you prefer to stay connected to CWC’s work. What we heard is that you enjoy reading the CWC newsletter to stay up to date, and...

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Plant Profile: Western Goldenrod

Plant Profile: Western Goldenrod

Contributing Author By Zola Nesbitt, CWC Watershed Steward 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...

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Learning From Community Through a Produce Truck Mural

Learning From Community Through a Produce Truck Mural

Contributing Author By The Jams (Jessica Carmen and Augie WK), CWC Artists-in-ResidenceWe love public art because of how it allows us to connect with communities, both like and unlike our own. As we kicked off our yearlong artist residency with the Coastal Watershed...

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CWC Welcomes Zola Nesbitt as Watershed Steward

CWC Welcomes Zola Nesbitt as Watershed Steward

CWC is delighted to collaborate with the Watershed Stewards Program, a partnership between the California Conservation Corps and AmeriCorps. In October, Watershed Stewards Corpsmember Zola Nesbitt joined our team to help improve watershed health along the San Lorenzo...

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Preserving Plants on the River Levee

Preserving Plants on the River Levee

If you’ve been spending time on the Santa Cruz Riverwalk in the last month, you might have noticed the great work done by Ecological Concerns Inc., the contractors hired to trim the plants along the levee as part of flood control. With help from our community, CWC...

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Introducing The Jams, CWC’s New Artists-in-Residence

Introducing The Jams, CWC’s New Artists-in-Residence

Mural art is coming to the San Lorenzo River! CWC is excited to announce our new Artists-in-Residence partnership with The Jams, a muralist duo from Watsonville made up of Augie WK and Jessica Carmen. Through August of 2024, CWC will work with The Jams and community...

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CWC Welcomes Erin Loury as Communications Manager

CWC Welcomes Erin Loury as Communications Manager

CWC is thrilled to welcome Erin Loury, who joined our team in September as our new Communications Manager! Erin is developing strategy and overseeing ways we communicate with our diverse audiences, as well as within our organization. She brings to her role a decade of...

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CWC is Hiring! Apply by July 11

CWC is Hiring! Apply by July 11

Are you seeking job opportunities to benefit the environment in Santa Cruz? The Coastal Watershed Council is growing with two new positions joining the team. We are seeking a Communications Manager and a Development Associate. Review the job descriptions below for...

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Plant Profile: Black Sage

Plant Profile: Black Sage

Black Sage is a perennial subshrub that is scientifically known as Salvia mellifera. Being the most common sage in California, this shrub is found in foothills, canyons, mesas, and chaparrals.

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Green Classroom Action Projects for Everyone!

Green Classroom Action Projects for Everyone!

Check out CWC’s new Action Project Guide for a healthier watershed and learn how the Coastal Watershed Council’s education team supported this year’s Teacher Leadership Institute for Sustainability (TLIS) to make “Every Classroom a Green Classroom”!

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Fiesta de los Artes: Combining Science, Art and Community

Fiesta de los Artes: Combining Science, Art and Community

CWC’s Maria Rocha and Sam Adelson are back at Bay View Elementary School again, not to teach but to party! Bay View’s annual Fiesta de los Artes is a community event bringing family, friends, local organizations and students of Bay View together to support and celebrate the arts. Check out this blog post to learn how CWC’s partnership with Bay View Elementary continues to flourish.

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Loving the San Lorenzo River

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.

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Significant River Levee Management Change Mandated by FEMA

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....

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Climate Change Education in Watershed Rangers

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.

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Plant Profile: Beach Strawberry

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...

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Gratitude for a Great Year

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...

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Welcoming Maria Rocha as CWC’s Environmental Educator!

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...

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San Lorenzo Park Phased Benchlands Camp Closure Begins

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...

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Abating Flooding along an Urban River

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...

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Watershed Rangers Impact Beyond the Environment

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...

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There’s Plenty of San Lorenzo River to Share!

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.

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Native Plants Create an Oasis

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.

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An Introduction to San Lorenzo River Steelhead Trout

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!

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CWC Welcomes Linda Cover to Board of Directors

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. 

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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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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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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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