2019 Application GIVE through
December 31

Coastal Watershed Council

Organization Mission

People protect what they know and love. That’s why the Coastal Watershed Council (CWC) works to transform the lower San Lorenzo River into a beloved community destination by inspiring people to explore, enhance and protect this critical natural resource. CWC fulfills its mission to preserve and protect coastal watersheds through community stewardship, education and monitoring through the revitalization of your beautiful waterway.

The Big Idea:
San Lorenzo River Revitalization

The San Lorenzo River and the park along its banks were once the celebrated heart of the city. The river is the main drinking water source for 100,000 people, and also provides habitat for endangered species, fish, birds and wildlife. The river is crucial to public health and could be a natural respite, popular greenway and gathering space amid Santa Cruz’s urban downtown—yet it feels more like a back alley than the city’s central park.

When Santa Cruzans avoid the river, we become disconnected from it, which keeps us from understanding the river’s benefits, how we rely on it, and how our daily actions impact local waterways.

In other communities, rivers are alternative transportation corridors, drivers of economic activity, visitor destinations, and natural spaces where people feel proud and safe. Rivers can transform our well-being. By rebuilding personal connections to our river and the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, CWC is shifting the way we interact with this critical natural resource. The result is both a healthier watershed and a healthier, more vibrant community as we feel safe outdoors and enjoy a park—a space of connection—in the heart of Santa Cruz.

The San Lorenzo River has such a great history of recreation, community, ecology and beauty. The Coastal Watershed Council has been exceptionally instrumental in turning the face of Santa Cruz toward our river as we do a bit of an about-face. CWC is increasing community engagement and revitalizing this gem of Santa Cruz for the benefit of all.

Bob and Konnie Warburton, Santa Cruz