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:

We’re Headed Back to School

We’re Headed Back to School

School is a place for development, learning, challenge, creativity and discovery. At schools, youth build a deeper sense of community both on the school campus and with our neighboring world. The Coastal Watershed Council has had the privilege to work with teachers...

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Intern Story: Mary Snook

Intern Story: Mary Snook

Mary Snook is a student at Reed College, whose family lives in Santa Cruz, and who spent her summer as an Environmental Education Intern at the Coastal Watershed Council. Through the summer, Mary had the opportunity to learn while teaching others. Read Mary's story:...

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The Noble Mystery

The Noble Mystery

By Samara Rosen It’s impossible to ignore that there is something special going on at Noble Gulch.  A block from Highway 1 and shrouded by eucalyptus and ivy, this trickling stream has clouds of bright orange! For weeks, the Urban Watch volunteers had trekked down to...

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Intern Story: Samara Rosen

Intern Story: Samara Rosen

This summer, the Coastal Watershed Council team grew with the addition of five new interns. Samara joined the CWC team in June 2017. Hailing from Oakland, Samara currently studies Water at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. As a Monitoring and Science Intern, Samara...

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Summer Campers Change their Watershed Perspective

Summer Campers Change their Watershed Perspective

By Mollie Behn, CWC Education Coordinator “Where does the river start?” I ask. “At the Santa Cruz Boardwalk” responds one of the youth. To those that have lived at the river mouth all their lives, it does seem that way, but it's not actually the case. The headwaters...

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Thank you, Rotary Club of Santa Cruz!

Thank you, Rotary Club of Santa Cruz!

“On June 26, the Rotary Club broke ground on a 366-sq. foot parklet on the northeast corner of the Soquel Avenue bridge and River Street. Led by Ecological Concerns Inc. staff, Rotarians planted natives like sticky monkey flower, California lilac, coffee berry and black sage alongside the existing mugwort and California poppy.”

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Invasive Plant Profile: Castor Bean

Invasive Plant Profile: Castor Bean

Streamside plants play an integral role in a healthy river ecosystem. Native trees distribute leaves for nutrients and they provide shade to cool water temperatures and shelter fish from predators. Their root systems slow and sink urban and natural runoff and...

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Tidewater Goby and the San Lorenzo River Lagoon

Tidewater Goby and the San Lorenzo River Lagoon

“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 is Hiring an Environmental Educator

CWC is Hiring an Environmental Educator

Do you want to inspire the next generation of environmental leaders in Santa Cruz County?   The Coastal Watershed Council is hiring an Environmental Educator, and it could be you! This position supports the Coastal Watershed Council’s (CWC) Watershed Ranger...

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Summer Camp in Full Swing

Summer Camp in Full Swing

By Mary Snook, CWC Education Intern The Coastal Watershed Council’s summer programming is focused on working with local youth to spread awareness of the San Lorenzo River, and to introduce students to their own role in maintaining its health. Youth often grow up in...

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Urban Watch Field Notes: Learning from Local Streams

Urban Watch Field Notes: Learning from Local Streams

By Samara Rosen, CWC Science & Monitoring Intern I would love to learn the language of streams. I've explored so many creeks and wondered what the water has seen. How many generations of salmon, mayflies, or ducklings has it supported? How hot or cold do it's...

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Lamprey in the San Lorenzo River

Lamprey in the San Lorenzo River

During Snapshot Day 2017, a team of volunteers spotted spawning lampreys in the San Lorenzo River. The rare sighting of this native San Lorenzo River fish piqued our interest so we caught up with Liam Zarri to learn more. Liam is a master's student in Eric Palkovacs'...

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San Lorenzo River Month Success

San Lorenzo River Month Success

Did you know that the City of Santa Cruz for the third year in a row has proclaimed June as San Lorenzo River month? June is the time of year when we kick-off summer, students break from school and we start thinking about vacation and spend more time outdoors with...

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Riverwalk Reflections by Rachel McKay

Riverwalk Reflections by Rachel McKay

Since 2014, the Coastal Watershed Council's Riverwalk Usage Study tracks who is using the Santa Cruz Riverwalk and what type of activities park users are engaging in. Rachel McKay, who has been volunteering for the Riverwalk Usage Study for a year, shared her...

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Intern Story: Christian Torres

Intern Story: Christian Torres

Throughout the year, CWC is excited to host interns across all of our programs. Interns learn a lot and contribute a lot to CWC’s work to reconnect healthy watersheds to vibrant communities in Santa Cruz County. This spring, the CWC staff had the opportunity to work...

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Meander Guests Pledge Action for the San Lorenzo River

Meander Guests Pledge Action for the San Lorenzo River

On Sunday, June 11th, the Coastal Watershed Council welcomed two hundred guests to the banks of the San Lorenzo River for an unforgettable evening. Together, guests meandered along the river banks enjoying champagne, cocktails, dinner and dessert while viewing the...

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Field Volunteers Needed for Urban Watch Monitoring

Field Volunteers Needed for Urban Watch Monitoring

On June 6, the Coastal Watershed Council will start the 17th year of the Urban Watch water quality monitoring in the City of Capitola. During Urban Watch, citizen science volunteers and CWC collect water samples and field measurements to understand the presence of...

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Action Sport Companies that Fuel Themselves on the San Lorenzo River

Action Sport Companies that Fuel Themselves on the San Lorenzo River

We all know that Santa Cruz is a mecca for action sports. Locals and visitors alike enjoy world-class surfing, mountain biking, and road biking, and our county is full of lively skateboard parks. Climbers can visit Castle Rock and other amazing local climbing sites. But even many locals do not know that Santa Cruz also has a deep tradition of developing the technology behind many of their action sports hobbies.

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Fly Fishing and Our Waters

Fly Fishing and Our Waters

The Coastal Watershed Council's recent event "Fly Fishing and Our Waters" in partnership with Patagonia, The Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen and the Steinbeck Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited, brought together fly fishermen, new to the sport and old-timers to reflect upon...

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2016 Riverwalk Usage Study Report

2016 Riverwalk Usage Study Report

The Santa Cruz Riverwalk is the longest park in the City of Santa Cruz, running along either side of the last mile of the lower San Lorenzo River before it flows into the Monterey Bay. The Riverwalk provides a great path for jogging, walking your dog or enjoying San...

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Snapshot Day 2017 Success

Snapshot Day 2017 Success

Thank you to the citizen scientists who convened at the San Lorenzo Park for the 18th Annual Snapshot Day event on Saturday, May 6! Volunteers of all ages were there to play an integral part in the annual monitoring of streams in Santa Cruz County that flow into the...

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Weaving a River of Past, Present and Future

Weaving a River of Past, Present and Future

"Reflection", "Pollution", "Music", "Water", "Birds".   When you think of the San Lorenzo River, what do you think of? Ask yourself this question, just as CWC asked the youth participants at Nueva Vista Community Resources after-school program. Their responses...

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Whitewater Winters on the San Lorenzo River

Whitewater Winters on the San Lorenzo River

Daren Commons ​was raised in Santa Cruz, kayaks avidly, and​ ​teaches history in Watsonville. When the San Lorenzo River rises each winter, he grabs his kayak and heads into the mountains to whitewater kayak the San Lorenzo River. Read, in Daren's own words, what it's...

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Ebb & Flow River Arts Project 2017 Update

Ebb & Flow River Arts Project 2017 Update

It’s time to go with the flow!  Led by the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County with partners including City of Santa Cruz, the Coastal Watershed Council, City of Santa Cruz Arts Commission, City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Department, Tannery Arts Center, First...

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Volunteer for the 2017 Riverwalk Usage Study

Volunteer for the 2017 Riverwalk Usage Study

The Santa Cruz Riverwalk Usage Study, ongoing since August 2014, establishes data on who visits the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, the two-mile long city park that lines the banks of the lower San Lorenzo River, and how visitors use the park. A team of dedicated volunteers...

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Can Steelhead Trout Survive Here?

Can Steelhead Trout Survive Here?

"Steelhead Trout can survive here!" exclaims a 4th grader at Main Street Elementary School. I ask him why. "Well, there is enough dissolved oxygen, the transparency is high, pH is 6.5 and its not too cold!" With either a thermometer or test kit in hand, 4th graders...

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First Flush 2016 Report Released

First Flush 2016 Report Released

Do you know what is in your stormwater? During a rain event, an accumulation of rain drops hitting the sidewalks, roads and driveways collect and move particles downstream. This stormwater takes everything from dog waste, fertilizers, paint and soap and by the time it...

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Supporter Spotlight: Michelle Williams

Supporter Spotlight: Michelle Williams

My name is Michelle Williams, and I’m the Executive Director of Arts Council Santa Cruz County, and a monthly donor to the Coastal Watershed Council. I also am mom to two little boys. My husband and I moved to Santa Cruz seven years ago and immediately fell in love...

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Plantronics Adopts A Parklet on MLK Jr Day of Service

Plantronics Adopts A Parklet on MLK Jr Day of Service

On Monday, January 16th many Santa Cruz residents had a day off work in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. A famous quote of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" It's in that spirit,...

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Intern Story: Shereen Ragoobeer

Intern Story: Shereen Ragoobeer

From creating curriculum about steelhead trout to engaging students in watershed scavenger hunts, Shereen has shows that love and appreciation for the environment is a key part to protecting it. Her commitment and passion to inspiring young environmental stewards is...

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A More Walkable, Bikable Riverwalk

A More Walkable, Bikable Riverwalk

By Piet Canin, VP of Transportation, Ecology Action The San Lorenzo River train trestle is an important gateway for those walking and biking to a variety of popular destinations. The trestle connects the beach Boardwalk, West Cliff Drive, downtown and the west side to...

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State of the Region 2016

State of the Region 2016

On December 1, 2016 the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership hosted the 2nd Annual State of the Region conference in Seaside, CA. This regional event attracted hundreds of community leaders from throughout the Monterey Bay region to explore and showcase the elements that...

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San Lorenzo Steelhead Season Starts

San Lorenzo Steelhead Season Starts

Written by: Barry Burt Opening Day I always look forward to December because it marks the beginning of yet another Steelhead season on the San Lorenzo River. The opener in particular, on December 1st, has been a long standing tradition with me and many of my friends...

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2016 Annual Report Published

2016 Annual Report Published

What a gratifying year we’ve had at CWC. I’m proud that we’re working at a scale of impact we have never reached before now. That’s all because of you – whether you’re a CWC volunteer, donor, partner or community supporter. Thank you! In the last year we’ve grown our...

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Santa Cruz Gives Challenges You!

Santa Cruz Gives Challenges You!

You've heard of social media giving challenges - the Ice Bucket Challenge, Giving Tuesday and more. Here's another opportunity to join in the social media conversation about giving back. And this time, it's directly in your community. Santa Cruz Gives is a holiday...

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2016 Volunteer of the Year

2016 Volunteer of the Year

Every fall, the Coastal Watershed Council is faced with the challenging decision of who, among the many fantastic volunteers that make our work possible, will be the Volunteer of the Year. CWC is lucky to work with bright, enthusiastic, passionate and inquisitive...

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A New Class of Watershed Rangers

A New Class of Watershed Rangers

"Who wants to read your pledge?" 28 hands shot in the air. One by one 5th grade students at Green Acres Elementary proudly shared their Watershed Ranger pledge focusing on what they could do everyday to help out their environment and community. Proud voices declared...

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We’re Hiring: Environmental Educator

We’re Hiring: Environmental Educator

The Coastal Watershed Council is looking to grow our environmental education team this spring. We're hiring an environmental educator to engage K-12 students in sustainable practices and environmental literacy. Activities include designing and leading education...

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First Flush 2016 Arrives

First Flush 2016 Arrives

First Flush is the first significant rain of the season. When it hits, CWC volunteers are ready. In September, well before the rains arrived, CWC trained 22 adventurous volunteers in water quality monitoring methods and supplied them with gear, instruments and sample...

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Intern Story: Taylor Bratton

Intern Story: Taylor Bratton

From launching “Shark Days” at her school to volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center, Taylor (pictured above, right) has always loved the ocean and taken action for healthy ecosystems. From day one, Taylor made it clear - what's affecting our oceans starts here, on...

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Invasive Species Removed from San Lorenzo Park

Invasive Species Removed from San Lorenzo Park

Each year, CWC organizes River Health Days along the San Lorenzo River. These events improve riverine habitat, support native plant growth and beautify San Lorenzo Park. In four River Health Days from September to October 2016, 61 volunteers uprooted invasive plants...

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Forecast: RAIN

Forecast: RAIN

CWC staff and volunteers are eagerly checking the weather forecast to see if the First Flush - the first significant rainfall of the season - is on its way. We're keeping an eye on a storm that looks like it may arrive early on Friday morning October 21st. Volunteers...

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Video: Monitoring First Flush Rain Storms

The Coastal Watershed Council has been doing water quality monitoring work for 21 years. Learn how this fall we're engaging volunteers to monitor runoff during the first significant rainfall of the year. And learn what you can do to prepare for the rains at your own...

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River Reveling A to Z

River Reveling A to Z

Here’s your A to Z guide on how to revel along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, the City of Santa Cruz’s longest park that spans the lower San Lorenzo River.

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Intern Story: Hannah Braun

Intern Story: Hannah Braun

Water quality monitoring interns at the Coastal Watershed Council gain valuable field skills in watersheds across Santa Cruz County. In the summer of 2016, CWC welcomed Hannah to our water quality monitoring team. Hannah is a UCSC student who's a fast learner and dove...

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#MySanLorenzo Challenge Returns

#MySanLorenzo Challenge Returns

The #mysanlorenzo challenge is back! Visit the river, snap a photo and post it to your favorite social media channel using the hashtag #mysanlorenzo to win prizes.

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Intern Story: Everett Louie

Intern Story: Everett Louie

Everett joined the CWC team in the summer of 2016 and dove into water quality monitoring in the Urban Watch program. Learn how Everett's experience with CWC provided learning opportunities beyond the classroom: "Being a resident in California, the Santa Cruz...

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Riverwalk Usage Study Report Released

Riverwalk Usage Study Report Released

In July 2016, Coastal Watershed Council completed its second year of the ongoing Riverwalk Usage Study: the one and only park usage study for the Santa Cruz Riverwalk. Since August 2014, CWC staff and volunteers have collected 184 surveys and counted 14,892 people...

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Santa Cruz Dads Visit Riverwalk

Santa Cruz Dads Visit Riverwalk

The San Lorenzo River connects trees to the seas, embracing towering redwoods, beautiful Monterey Bay, the vibrant Santa Cruz downtown, diverse neighborhoods and so much more. But it has also faced the rising crime endemic to so many public spaces as a porous criminal...

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Ice Plant Removal along the San Lorenzo

Ice Plant Removal along the San Lorenzo

On an overcast morning of September 9th, the San Lorenzo River was quiet and serene through a screen of cat tails and native grasses. Coastal Watershed Council and group of 20 volunteers from the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, Ponderosa High School and the...

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Discovery in Exploring Nature

Discovery in Exploring Nature

My mantra is that every time you explore nature, you discover something new. This is absolutely true if you exploring with youth. As CWC Education Coordinator, it is my job is to explore nature with kids all throughout Santa Cruz County. This exploration is a source...

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Intern Story: Spencer Schwartz

Intern Story: Spencer Schwartz

Throughout the year, CWC is excited to host interns across all of our programs. Interns learn a lot and contribute a lot to CWC's work to reconnect healthy watersheds to vibrant communities in Santa Cruz County. This summer, Spencer Schwartz, an intern from Pitzer...

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Empowering Youth to Take Action NOW

Empowering Youth to Take Action NOW

As we gear up for the school year, CWC is empowering youth not only to face the challenges of tomorrow, but also to take action TODAY. We're incorporating leadership development into our environmental education program Watershed Rangers. Kids not only learn how to use...

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Meandering along the San Lorenzo

Meandering along the San Lorenzo

Thank you to everyone who made Meander such a dazzling success! On Sunday, June 26th we hosted 200 guests along the banks of the San Lorenzo River for a moving and meandering culinary experience like no other. Everyone had the opportunity to visit the "tree of...

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Paddling the American River

Paddling the American River

The South Fork of the American River is quite different from our Central Coast. CWC team members had an opportunity to raft down a stretch of that powerful, beautiful river on a recent weekend, offering us a unique chance to compare and contrast this major watershed...

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Exploring Watersheds

Exploring Watersheds

What could make kids more water-wise than a summer camp located on and around their very own drinking water source? CWC’s Watershed Ranger program gives Nueva Vista students the opportunity to explore and learn about the various reaches of the San Lorenzo River in...

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Zero Shades of Pink

Zero Shades of Pink

Urban Watch in Capitola is a dry weather monitoring program geared at measuring the presence of common urban pollutants. Used to keep our households clean, products like chlorine and detergents can be very harmful to an aquatic environment, particularly fish and bugs....

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Controlling Mosquitoes along the San Lorenzo

Controlling Mosquitoes along the San Lorenzo

There are lots of people who work hard every day to keep the San Lorenzo River healthy, clean and safe. Some of those people work for the County measuring mosquito activity and reducing public health risk. Mosquito breeding activity along the shallows of the San...

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Volunteer at the Riverwalk

Volunteer at the Riverwalk

Are you a people watcher? Do you like spending time on the San Lorenzo River? Put your keen observation skills to use along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk by becoming a Riverwalk Usage Study volunteer. As a volunteer you will spend a half hour at the Santa Cruz Riverwalk...

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Supporter Spotlight: Meander Culinary Team

Supporter Spotlight: Meander Culinary Team

As part of the Coastal Watershed Council’s bold commitment to spark meaningful change along the San Lorenzo River, we will host Meander, a benefit dinner on the banks of river on Sunday, June 26th. This sold out event…

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Join Urban Watch this Summer

Join Urban Watch this Summer

Do you want to gain water quality monitoring skills and get to know the Soquel Creek watershed? Then Urban Watch is the water quality monitoring program for you! Over the course of this four month program, volunteers perform in-field analysis on flows from storm...

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2015 San Lorenzo River Bird Study Released

2015 San Lorenzo River Bird Study Released

Santa Cruz’s visitors don’t just come bearing sunscreen and beach balls. Some fly through under the radar. We are talking about the avian travelers that make a visit to the San Lorenzo River during their fall migration. In fall 2015, Gary Kittleson, founder of...

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Know Before You Go

Know Before You Go

“How clean is this water?” If that’s a question you ask yourself, then we have the tool for you. The County of Santa Cruz’s Water Quality Mapper helps you know the water quality of your favorite beach, creek or lagoon. With many locations updated weekly and an easy to...

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National Rivers Day

National Rivers Day

Did you know that May 21st is National Rivers Day - a day to inspire river stewardship across the country with clean ups and more? Here in Santa Cruz, we'll be co-hosting the State of the San Lorenzo River Symposium, a cleanup on the lower San Lorenzo River and a...

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First Flush Report Published

First Flush Report Published

The Coastal Watershed Council has published the 2015 First Flush Report. Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this study possible, waking up early on a November morning to head out into the first significant rainfall of the year (that’s what a ‘first flush’...

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Snapshot Day Success

Snapshot Day Success

Thank you to the 60 volunteers who came out for the 17th Annual Snapshot Day water quality monitoring event on Saturday May 7th. This event is the largest of its kind in the Central Coast and for 17 years has been a great source of scientifically valid data about the...

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Middle Schoolers Explore River Health

Middle Schoolers Explore River Health

"I got it! I got it!" said a 7th grade student upon collecting a Dragonfly Nymph. Armed with nets and collection boxes, she and her classmates sleuthed through the sediment and trickling waters of various tributaries of the San Lorenzo River. They often surprised...

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Supporter Spotlight: Jim Weisenstein

Supporter Spotlight: Jim Weisenstein

When Jim Weisenstein became president of the Rotary Club of Santa Cruz in 2015, he knew that he wanted to inspire the club to work on revitalization the San Lorenzo River. Here's why: “I love outdoor recreation of all types and one of my favorite local outings is...

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