Your Impact


Explore, Enhance and Protect Your River


When people of all ages, abilities and socio-economic backgrounds can not only access and enjoy nature, but also play a key role in its preservation and protection, it benefits the river ecosystem and the community we serve. Through park improvements, events, youth leadership development, neighborhood workshops, water quality improvements, habitat enhancement and environmental education, the Coastal Watershed Council works towards a clean, healthy San Lorenzo River and safe, accessible riverside parks where all people can connect to nature.

Park Improvements and Events

Imagine if the lower San Lorenzo River felt more like a front yard than a back alley. CWC is transforming the lower San Lorenzo River and riverfront parks – the Santa Cruz Riverwalk and San Lorenzo Park – into community destinations that draw a variety of people from diverse backgrounds, with the goal of making people feel safe at the river and providing access to a wide variety of activities that allow people to relax, recreate, connect to nature, learn about the river and act to benefit the environment.

Check Out Upcoming Events

Improving Water Quality

While the San Lorenzo River might be cleaner than you think, there are still challenges facing the river including pollution from bacteria, sediment and nutrients. That’s why, CWC applies its technical expertise to generate scientific data, uses that data to implement best management practices and measure results so that the river is drinkable, fishable and swimmable.

Volunteer to Monitor Water Quality

Enhancing Habitat

The San Lorenzo River is a critical resource that provides habitat for hundreds of species of fish, birds, and bugs. Once supporting as many as 20,000 wild steelhead trout and 30,000 salmon just 60 years ago, the river now only supports less than 1,000 salmonids. Through CWC’s River Health Day program, volunteers like you, native plant experts and volunteers enhance habitat along the lower San Lorenzo River, improve habitat complexity and remove pervasive invasive plants. In addition to the direct ecosystem benefits that River Health Days provide, they also reintroduce the river to the community by bringing youth and adults to visit the river, many for the very first time. 

Volunteer for River Health Days

Empowering Youth

Too often, environmental education programs prepare youth only for tomorrow’s world. CWC is empowering youth to take action today to benefit the San Lorenzo River and riverfront parks through our unique and inspiring program Watershed Rangers. By taking action today, youth are learning that they can be leaders, change-makers and influencers – right now. The impacts of this program extend well beyond the environment as youth feel empowered to take on any challenge that comes their way.

Bring Watershed Rangers to Your School

Conducting Community Science

We protect what we know and love. When people volunteer for community science events, they go to unexpected places, build a connection to nature, learn how to conduct river science and you will contribute to the growing body of knowledge about the San Lorenzo River and other watersheds.

Be a River Scientist for the Day

Community Capacity Building

You can clean and green your community spaces and backyards to improve water quality in the San Lorenzo River and your quality of life. The Coastal Watershed Council works in neighborhoods directly along the lower San Lorenzo River to inspire residents to advocate for positive changes in their lives, neighborhoods, city and environment. We work directly with residents to develop projects that simultaneously address the needs of residents and threats to clean water.

Inspire Your Neighbors