Watershed Rangers, the Coastal Watershed Council’s youth education program, serves youth primarily in the city of Santa Cruz with a particular focus on San Lorenzo River-adjacent schools and community organizationsCWC is driven to strengthen the bonds between the San Lorenzo River and our diverse communities who live, work, and play near its banks. 

The San Lorenzo River emptying into the Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz, California 

As far as San Lorenzo River watershed communities go, people who live the furthest downstream are often those most impacted by the health and the protection of our San Lorenzo River. Did you know that the San Lorenzo River is the city’s single largest source of drinking waterProtecting the San Lorenzo River, though, takes more than a single city’s efforts. So, how does the Coastal Watershed Council reach San Lorenzo River neighbors outside city limits? Enter one of our many partners in river education: San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School! 

Aerial photo of San Lorenzo Valley Schools complex. Photo from slvpost.com

Watershed Rangers programs have been running strong at SLVES for over a decade thanks to generous funding from the City of Santa Cruz Water Department. For over ten years, the Coastal Watershed Council has been guiding meaningful watershed educational experiences, or MWEEs, for dozens of teachers and thousands of students in pursuit of keeping our water clean and our wildlife healthy!

An example model of steelhead trout migration in a Watershed Rangers journal. 

The exciting news is that we’ve just launched our first lessons of 2022 with San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School! Face masks secured, CWC educators, passionate teachers and curious students are investigating the fascinating migration of steelhead trout and exploring ways that all of us can help steelhead thrive.

Stay tuned for more stories and photos through CWC’s blogFacebook, and Instagram!

Special thanks to the City of Santa Cruz for funding this integral work of connecting our communities and improving our environment through watershed science and stewardship education.

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