Watershed Program is providing a powerful voice concerning the need for watershed-level management, ecosystem restoration and community engagement within the highly urbanized, densely populated, water scarce Los Angeles region. Our Watershed Program, spanning the entire LA region, has the opportunity to view our water quality and quantity challenges not only in terms of individual waterways and neighborhoods, but also as part of larger watershed-level contexts. The Watershed Program’s mission is to empower Angelenos to steward and monitor our shared environment so that everyone has access to living, healthy and safe waterways.
Our mission is to empower Angelenos to steward and monitor our shared environment so that everyone has access to living, healthy and safe waterways.
In order to achieve our mission, we are approaching our work in the following ways:
- Lead and support community and volunteer fieldwork activities with a focus both on the intersection between water quality and community health.
- Educate and empower high school students, community members and the general public concerning watershed health.
- Impact current policy through presenting our data and lifting the voices of community members.
Special Volunteer Programs
We are training and partnering with over 400 volunteers on a water quality and ecological health monitoring program along two stretches of the Los Angeles River, in partnership with Friends of the LA River (FoLAR). Engaging community members from along the Elysian Valley and South Gate sections of the LA River, as well as from surrounding communities, we are coming together to take samples of storm drain outfall points, while reimagining the role of a healthier river in the lives of future generations. RAFT volunteers are learning to collect data that will further our understanding of the river’s health and will support efforts to reframe the current dialogue around the river in ecological terms. Please sign up through our calendar!
We are partnering with our neighbors living in industrial communities that face high pollution burdens across Los Angeles, offering water sampling training opportunities to committed CWW Ambassadors from across LA, including Sun Valley, Downtown and South LA, the Port of LA and Long Beach and the San Gabriel Valley. With these skills, these valuable collaborators collect polluted stormwater that is running onto our streets and into our waterways, preparing it for a detailed lab analysis. The ongoing test results support local community organizations’ environmental justice work and help us to understand the state of our waterways. Find applications for the 2016-2017 storm season here in English and in Spanish.
Community Education Projects
Urban Waters Civic Action Project:
We are launching a project this school year to work with high school students from three watersheds and one sub-watershed, in partnership with UCLA and the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF), to combine enhanced STEM education with civic action engagement. We are providing both teacher training for in-class instruction for over 15 high school teachers from throughout LA County, as well as support for after-class fieldwork and data gathering for over 120 students. Through this project, we will engage approximately 500 students overall who all come from Title I schools located in areas with high EnviroScreen scores. Through participating in this project, students from across Los Angeles County will learn about the waterway in their backyard, and gain skills in water quality analysis, scientific communication and civic action, which will serve them in their future college experiences and career endeavors.