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:

CWC is Hiring an After-School Educator

CWC is Hiring an After-School Educator

CWC's Watershed Rangers environmental education program connects, inspires and empowers Santa Cruz County youth to explore and protect their local watersheds through meaningful hands-on learning and action. In partnership with local youth organizations, after-school...

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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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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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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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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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Beach Flats Community Co-Designs Park Storm Drain Art

Beach Flats Community Co-Designs Park Storm Drain Art

Thank you to all the Beach Flats community members who gathered on May 3rd to help design storm drain art at Beach Flats Park! Beach Flats is one of three riverside neighborhoods that will be collaborating with the Coastal Watershed Council, the City of Santa Cruz,...

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Environmental Leaders Fellowship 2019 Application Open

Environmental Leaders Fellowship 2019 Application Open

Do you like working with others to benefit the environment and the community? Do you want to help inspire the next generation of environmental leaders? If you (or someone you know) wants to spend the summer honing leadership skills and improving the San Lorenzo River,...

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The Smartest Heron on the San Lorenzo River

The Smartest Heron on the San Lorenzo River

Contributing Author By Katherine Dale, PhD student, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California Santa Cruz Herons and egrets are some of the most commonly spotted birds on the San Lorenzo River, thanks to their large size and...

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Youth Encourage River Stewardship at Downtown Businesses

Youth Encourage River Stewardship at Downtown Businesses

“I am a Watershed Ranger and 4th-grader at Bay View Elementary School. I’d like your permission to post my flyer up in your store. The flyer shares how you can help to protect steelhead trout habitat.”If you have visited a business in downtown Santa Cruz...

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CWC is Hiring a River Scientist

CWC is Hiring a River Scientist

Job Posting: River Scientist CWC is seeking a full-time River Scientist to join our team! If you or someone you know loves working with community members and volunteers and has a strong science background, look no further! Read on to learn more about the position,...

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How Former Governor Jerry Brown Supports the San Lorenzo River

How Former Governor Jerry Brown Supports the San Lorenzo River

People protect what they know and love. Even kids. CWC helps to cultivate this love for the San Lorenzo River for youth in grades K-8 through experiences, through knowledge, through little moments that make you wonder about how the river interacts with you and with...

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Uniting Art and Science for Cleaner Water

Uniting Art and Science for Cleaner Water

This spring a storm drain near you is getting a makeover. Thanks to the partnership between the Coastal Watershed Council, neighbors in the Beach Flats and Ocean’s 11 communities, Environmental Projects Analyst Suzanne Healy and City Arts Manager Beth Tobey, local...

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Introducing Youth River Health Days

Introducing Youth River Health Days

Participating in habitat restoration projects such as CWC’s River Health Days is a tactile experience for youth. Imagine... the crunchy soil tickles your hands, the clack of the shovel hits a rock reverberates in your ears, the sight of an earthworm inching by...

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Celebrating CWC’s 2018 Accomplishments

Celebrating CWC’s 2018 Accomplishments

Thank you so much for making 2018 great! Yes, you. People like you who follow CWC's work, who participate, act and advocate for your river are generating positive change for your San Lorenzo River. You've accomplished a lot in 2018 and, as a result, your river is...

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Enjoy 2019 at the San Lorenzo River!

Enjoy 2019 at the San Lorenzo River!

What does 2019 have in store for the Coastal Watershed Council? We are looking forward to more walks along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, blooming native plants along the San Lorenzo River and getting to know Santa Cruz’s network of river lovers and...

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DeLaveaga Kindergarteners Become Watershed Rangers

DeLaveaga Kindergarteners Become Watershed Rangers

On behalf of the Coastal Watershed Council, I want to congratulate each of the brilliant students in Ms. Zúñiga’s dual-language kindergarten class at DeLaveaga Elementary for achieving the highly coveted status of Watershed Ranger! These amazing youngsters...

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Announcing 2018 Volunteer of the Year

Announcing 2018 Volunteer of the Year

As we wrap 2018, we reflect on what we have accomplished over the past year. We recognize the youth and the adults, the corporate teams and community groups that took action to enhance the San Lorenzo River, the Santa Cruz Riverwalk and riverfront...

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Your Support Matters

Your Support Matters

Your support drives each and every accomplishment of the Coastal Watershed Council from engaging 500 volunteers and helping to empower 2,500 youth each year for a cleaner and healthier San Lorenzo River. The impact that CWC and these volunteers and youth create...

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Thank you to the Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen!

Thank you to the Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen!

Do you remember the first time you put on waders and stepped into a river? Walking forward, you watched your boots disappear as the water deepened. You felt a cold pressure wrap around each leg, and maybe you wondered, is there a hole where the water is seeping in? If...

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Illuminated River

Illuminated River

Contributing AuthorArticle originally published by the City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Office. Written by: Joel Hersch View Original...

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Growing along the River: Yarrow

Growing along the River: Yarrow

This winter, the Coastal Watershed Council will lead volunteers in planting almost 2,000 plants on the banks of the San Lorenzo River during River Health Day habitat restoration events. Yarrow is one beneficial plant that you might spot growing along the river. What's...

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CWC’s Environmental Leaders Fellowship

CWC’s Environmental Leaders Fellowship

The Coastal Watershed Council is committed to fostering the leadership of the next generation of environmental leaders and is proud to do through our summer fellowship program. This year, Francisca Fazzio spent her summer working with the Coastal Watershed Council as...

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Watershed Rangers Head Back to School

Watershed Rangers Head Back to School

No matter your age, you can make a difference. This school year, CWC will teach over 2,500 youth through scientific investigation and study of the San Lorenzo River watershed, increasing their awareness of environmental issues and how they can be part of...

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Trees Planted along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk

Trees Planted along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk

Did you know that the City of Santa Cruz received a grant to plant 500 trees throughout Santa Cruz this year? Thanks to volunteers and staff from the Coastal Watershed Council, Patagonia Santa Cruz Outlet and City of Santa Cruz Parks and...

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San Lorenzo Summer Camp

San Lorenzo Summer Camp

Nearly 100 youth explored the San Lorenzo River this summer. Youth from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, Nueva Vista Community Resources and the downtown Boys and Girls Club explored, investigated and examined the lower San Lorenzo River as part of their...

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Describe the Santa Cruz Riverwalk of your Dreams

Describe the Santa Cruz Riverwalk of your Dreams

The year is 2025 and you have created the Santa Cruz Riverwalk of your dreams. You decided what activities you can do there, what features to add, how to connect the Riverwalk with the San Lorenzo River and how the Riverwalk makes you feel. Maybe your...

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Into Being – The River Revisited

Into Being – The River Revisited

Written By: Diana Hobson Diana is an English born artist, now living in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Northern California. Diana's work has evolved through glass/mixed media, sculpture, installation and photography to include video and sound installation. The...

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Honoring Santa Cruz’s Chinese-American History

Honoring Santa Cruz’s Chinese-American History

Santa Cruz's Chinatown once stood along the lower San Lorenzo River, built on "China Lane" between the city's downtown business district east of Front Street, where today stands Regal Riverfront Cinemas. As the Coastal Watershed Council looks to the river's future, we...

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June is San Lorenzo River Month

Did you know that June is San Lorenzo River month in the City of Santa Cruz?   How will you be celebrating and getting to know your river? At CWC, we believe that when you care for your river, learn about its significance and build a connection to nature, it...

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Volunteers Fuel River Habitat Enhancement

Volunteers Fuel River Habitat Enhancement

By Alexandra Baldwin, CWC Restoration Ecology Intern   Have you noticed the hundreds of pink flags along the lower San Lorenzo River between the Laurel and Soquel Avenue Bridges?   Each flag marks a young beneficial plant that was planted by a community...

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Rally ho! Lessons Learned at River Rally

Rally ho! Lessons Learned at River Rally

This May, hundreds of river advocates from nonprofits, federal and state agencies and local municipalities gathered at the Truckee River in Tahoe, CA, for the 2018 River Rally conference. Among the advocates were Greg, Laurie, Mollie and Alev from the Coastal...

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Student Solutions to Prevent Impacts of Human Development

Student Solutions to Prevent Impacts of Human Development

How does the San Lorenzo River change as it flows towards the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary? This is the very question students participating in the Watershed Rangers after-school program at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School investigated at three sites along...

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Are there plague minnows in the San Lorenzo River?

Are there plague minnows in the San Lorenzo River?

Gambusia affinis is one of the most widely introduced species across the globe. When they are destructive in their non-native ecosystems, they’re deemed an invasive species, yet in other contexts they may cause little to no harm. Read on to find out...

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Connecting Youth to Their River

Connecting Youth to Their River

“Bugs! There are bugs in the water!” Kindergartners from Tierra Pacifica Charter School stand side by side peering through magnifying lenses into the San Lorenzo River just next to Mike Fox Skate Park to get a glimpse at the aquatic bugs that call the San Lorenzo...

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Tannery Residents Enhance San Lorenzo River Habitat

Tannery Residents Enhance San Lorenzo River Habitat

Tannery Arts Center residents gathered on a beautiful Sunday in March to care for their neighbor, the San Lorenzo River. Youth and adults planted a mix of native plants on the banks of the San Lorenzo River. Among them were gumweed, blackberry, primrose,...

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CWC’s Big Move

CWC’s Big Move

The Coastal Watershed Council (CWC) is moving our office to the lower San Lorenzo River so that we can more easily care for the river on a daily basis, see what’s happening at the river from our desks and more easily host events that bring you to the river. CWC's...

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Community Science Matters

Community science is important. Learn why from CWC Executive Director Greg Pepping. You too can be a scientist by signing up for the 19th Annual Central Coast Snapshot Day on Saturday, May 5th, 2018.

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Santa Cruz Warriors and Partners Team Up in River Restoration

Santa Cruz Warriors and Partners Team Up in River Restoration

On Saturday, March 17, volunteers from the Santa Cruz Warriors and Big Brothers Big Sisters worked together to plant over 400 plants along the San Lorenzo River. The crew of 80 river stewards included staff, players, coaches, season ticket holders and Big Brother Big...

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Coho Salmon: Rooting for a Comeback

Coho Salmon: Rooting for a Comeback

By: Katie Kobayashi PhD Student, UC Santa Cruz Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Talk to a long-time resident of the San Lorenzo Valley, and they might recall the days when Santa Cruz winters brought rain, a raging river and swarms...

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Willows: Stewards of the San Lorenzo River

Willows: Stewards of the San Lorenzo River

Willows are an essential component of river or marsh habitats. Thriving in saturated riparian soil, willows grow extensive root systems that stabilize river banks, by holding sediment and soil in place and protecting the bank during high flow events. Willows support water quality by preventing sediment from entering the stream …

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Youth Find Fish in the San Lorenzo River

Youth Find Fish in the San Lorenzo River

Imagine living along the lower San Lorenzo River all your life, but never getting to see what lives in the river. That recently changed for students who live in the Lower Ocean and Beach Flats neighborhoods who attend the after-school program at Nueva...

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City Leaders Announce Plan for River Street Camp

City Leaders Announce Plan for River Street Camp

Over one hundred people just like you asked local leaders to publicly communicate their plan for their encampment located at the benchlands of San Lorenzo Park along the lower San Lorenzo River. You asked them to share who is in charge, what the next steps were and...

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Youth Investigate How Water Consumption Impacts Fish

Youth Investigate How Water Consumption Impacts Fish

“It can’t swim anymore!” Swarming around a tupperware container filled with water representing the San Lorenzo River, youth at the Boys and Girls Club excitingly use a turkey baster to remove water from the creek representing the extraction of water from

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Environmental Leaders Fellowship Application Open

Environmental Leaders Fellowship Application Open

Are you interested in spearheading change for the San Lorenzo River?Are you ready to practice your leadership? Do you like working with others to benefit the environment and the community? If you (or someone you know) wants to spend their summer honing their...

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San Lorenzo River Water Quality Update

San Lorenzo River Water Quality Update

The San Lorenzo River is cleaner than you might think. Still, there are a number of challenges to a healthy San Lorenzo River, including pollution from bacteria, sediment and nutrients. A unique partnership, consisting of water quality experts and stormwater...

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Mysterious Visitors to Coastal Lagoons

Mysterious Visitors to Coastal Lagoons

By Megan Sabal, UCSC, Graduate Student, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) are anadromous fish that spawn in freshwater and travel to productive ocean waters to reach impressive sizes. Within this...

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American Coots: Seriously, Not a Duck!

American Coots: Seriously, Not a Duck!

By Katherine Dale, PhD student, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California Santa Cruz Take a walk along the San Lorenzo River and you’ll almost certainly see black, football-shaped birds speedily swimming around. They might be...

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2017 Urban Watch Report Released

2017 Urban Watch Report Released

Over the past 17 years, Coastal Watershed Council has been partnering with the City of Capitola on the Urban Watch monitoring program. From June to September each year, volunteers study water quality in Soquel Creek, local tributaries, and stormwater...

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Santa Cruz Gives

Santa Cruz Gives

You've heard of giving challenges - the Ice Bucket Challenge, Giving Tuesday and more. Here's another opportunity to join in and give back. And this time, it's directly in your community. Santa Cruz Gives is a holiday fundraising program that’s new to our county, but...

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CWC announces 2017 Volunteer of the Year

CWC announces 2017 Volunteer of the Year

As 2017 comes to a close, we reflect on what we have accomplished together over the past year. We recognize the youth and the adults, the corporate teams and community groups that explored and took action to improve the San Lorenzo River and other...

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How Groundwater Sustainability Affects San Lorenzo River Flow

How Groundwater Sustainability Affects San Lorenzo River Flow

By Sierra Ryan,Water Resource Planner, County of Santa Cruz Environmental Health Did you know that 40 to 50% of dry season flow of the San Lorenzo River comes from the Santa Margarita Basin? Groundwater, like that from the Santa Margarita Basin, and surface water are...

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2017 Annual Report Released

2017 Annual Report Released

What a difference you have made in your community this year! You have contributed your time, energy, donations and ideas towards a healthier, cleaner, safer and more vibrant San Lorenzo River, for everyone. You've worked alongside the Coastal Watershed Council and...

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City Council Votes to Approve the Downtown Plan Amendments

City Council Votes to Approve the Downtown Plan Amendments

UPDATE: The Santa Cruz City Council voted Tuesday, November 14 to approve updates to the Downtown Recovery Plan. Thank you to all of those who shared your voice. You can read more about the meeting from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here. The Coastal Watershed Council (CWC)...

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Downtown Streets Team Cleans Riverwalk 7 Days Per Week

Downtown Streets Team Cleans Riverwalk 7 Days Per Week

By Greg Pensinger, Project Manager, Downtown Streets Team Santa Cruz Team A recent article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel highlighted the passing of the baton – or should we say trash picker – from the Leveelies, who have been diligent cleaners and defenders of the Levee...

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Giving Gratitude to Santa Cruz County Teachers

Giving Gratitude to Santa Cruz County Teachers

By Mollie Behn, CWC Education Coordinator Thank you Santa Cruz County teachers! Over the past two years, as CWC Education Coordinator, I have had the incredible privilege to work with K-8th grade teachers across Santa Cruz County. Last year, I partnered with 68...

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Meet Lindsey, CWC Environmental Educator

Meet Lindsey, CWC Environmental Educator

By Lindsey Hutchison, CWC Environmental Educator My days growing up in Santa Cruz were filled with running around Soquel Creek where I would catch crawdads and count fish that swam by. At an early age I was encouraged to participate in beach and river cleanups and...

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Get Ready for Rain

Get Ready for Rain

The first significant rainfall of the season is technically known as the ‘first flush’. First flush events have a scouring effect on local neighborhoods, moving bacteria, sediment, fertilizers, cleaners and metals into local waterways. During the “first flush” or...

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Riverwalk Compositions

Riverwalk Compositions

Written By: Alan Martin, Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department Editted by: Laurie Egan, Coastal Watershed Council "My name is Alan Martin and I am a temporary employee of the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department, working in the east maintenance zone. My job...

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Watershed Rangers Share Stewardship for Steelhead

Watershed Rangers Share Stewardship for Steelhead

"People should care about steelhead trout because they are threatened species!"   Huddled in groups, fifth and sixth grade students at Pacific Elementary School discussed the various threats to steelhead trout survival based upon their investigation...

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Invasive Largemouth Bass Languish in San Lorenzo River

Invasive Largemouth Bass Languish in San Lorenzo River

“Although we understand the basic seasonal cycle of breaching in the winter and lagoon formation during the summer, a lot differs from year to year: rain and surf conditions have a major impact on what shape the bar takes, how high the water backs up behind it and how it eventually breaches. We don’t yet fully understand what impacts different types of water years will have on tidewater goby populations.”

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CWC’s First-Ever Environmental Leaders Fellow

CWC’s First-Ever Environmental Leaders Fellow

The Coastal Watershed Council is committed to fostering the leadership of the next generation of environmental leaders. Throughout the year we incorporate leadership development into our environmental education program Watershed Rangers, we work alongside local high...

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Rainwater Only Please!

Rainwater Only Please!

Storm drain gutters on your street move rain water untreated into local waterways including the San Lorenzo River and Monterey Bay. The City of Santa Cruz sweeps streets and vacuums out storm drains to make sure they’re functioning before winter storms arrive. During...

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Volunteers Improve San Lorenzo River Habitat

Volunteers Improve San Lorenzo River Habitat

What does a healthy river look like to you? You may imagine people playing in the river, or a river teeming with spawning steelhead in the early winter. Perhaps a river with tall and short trees surrounding it. In order to support animals and humans a river must have...

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Corralitos Creek Steelhead Rescue

Corralitos Creek Steelhead Rescue

"The lower reaches of Corralitos Creek were drying up by August 3, 2017. Already long stretches were dry with small pockets of clear water; some pools were already dead due to heat and lack of oxygen, but most were still alive with small Steelhead, stickleback,...

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LET’S STAY IN TOUCH!