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Coastal Watershed Council

Organization Mission

The San Lorenzo River is forgotten by too many residents who may not realize our drinking water relies on it. The Coastal Watershed Council is the only organization solely focused on revitalizing this river that was the reason Santa Cruz was founded in the first place. Our small but mighty team strives daily to realize Santa Cruz’s vision of a healthy, welcoming and fun river that connects our diverse community to nature, and is a desirable destination for recreation and reflection.

CWC was formed to address the declining health of watersheds connected to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, with a mission to preserve and protect coastal watersheds through community stewardship, education and monitoring. We’ve been at it since 1995 because of your support!

The Big Idea:
Getting Kids Back Outside!

The San Lorenzo River is the primary drinking water source for nearly 100,000 people and is designated as critical habitat for threatened and endangered species of fish. Most locals agree that our community deserves a healthy river ecosystem surrounded by safe and inviting parks.

The most important thing we can do for the river, today and tomorrow, is introduce kids to nature at the Riverwalk. We need your support to give teachers, students and hardworking parents activities that they can do both online and offline — outside, playing and learning in nature.

CWC’s Watershed Ranger program helps teachers do their job by including lessons that align with the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards that teachers follow. During a normal year, CWC can work with up to 58 teachers in 27 schools, swearing in over 2,700 Watershed Rangers. With your support, we can reach even more students in this remote learning era.

Help us reach every elementary and middle school student in Santa Cruz!

I didn't have any hope for my community until CWC came along.

Carol Walker, Santa Cruz, about CWC's work with river neighbors