In the Classroom

What you do on land affects the health of your local waterways and the ocean.

As CWC visits classrooms across Santa Cruz County, it is our commitment that all students recognize that we all live in a watershed and our actions affect our environment. CWC staff develop and deliver lessons in elementary, middle and high schools countywide. Our current programs include:

After-School-2Students at the San Lorenzo Valley Elementary and Middle Schools are learning how to look at the whole watershed system and the benefits it provides as habitat for endangered species, for drinking water and for community recreation. The focus of this program is exploring and investigating ecosystem health. Students map the San Lorenzo River watershed, use scientific equipment to monitor water quality, identify aquatic organisms, discover the impacts of  invasive plant species in riverine ecosystems and create art to illustrate watershed concepts. The Santa Cruz Watershed Education and Outreach program is the catalyst for many students to explore the natural world surrounding their own neighborhoods. 500 students in grades K-8 participate in this program that prepares them to join high school level aquaculture and environmental science courses. Thanks to the Watershed Section of the City of Santa Cruz Water Department and theSan Lorenzo Valley Water District Education Program for funding this program.

You can make a difference. That’s what students at New Brighton Middle School are learning when it comes to preventing pollution in the Soquel Creek watershed, supported by the City of Capitola Public Works Department. Nonpoint source pollution comes from many sources throughout the watershed. It’s a leak from your old car, forgetting to pick up after your dog, washing your car in the driveway. It’s a little bit here and a little bit there. And New Brighton Middle School students are learning what each of us can do to prevent it. They’re exploring the direct links between their actions, pollution and how it impacts the health of their local watershed. As the school is adjacent to Noble Gulch, students can investigate direct sources of pollution on their own campus, identify what current practices are in place to prevent them and what’s missing. 140 students participate in this program each year at New Brighton Middle School.

The Green Schools Program connects schools and students to the valuable role we can all play in environmental protection through knowledge and action. The Coastal Watershed Council partners with and is supported by the County of Santa Cruz for this county-wide program. Learn more about the Green Schools Program today.