Youth Education

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The Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council’s Watershed Action Teams for Education, Restoration and Stewardship (WATERS) Program brings hands-on learning opportunities to local students in order to foster interest and understanding in watershed health and conservation.

The WATERS Program provides advanced, field-based environmental educational experiences to middle school students in South Lane County. After ten years of successful operation in other regions of the county the Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council, in collaboration the McKenzie Watershed Council and other supporters, expanded to South Lane County in 2016.

Students enrolled in the WATERS Program receive a team-based, watershed-focused learning experience that will prepare and inspire them for a future in environmental and scientific fields.

We believe the best way to ensure future watershed health is through education. By teaching and inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards, we are safeguarding our watershed.

Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council’s Education Program directly involves the community in watershed monitoring and enhancement. Students gain field experience in water quality monitoring, surveying and identification of aquatic species, riparian plants and Western pond turtles, and contribute to riparian restoration projects.

We work collaboratively with local schools, state and local government agencies, and private landowners. Projects occur on both public and private lands and are used by the Council to develop voluntary, cooperative partnerships with a wide range of landowners and agencies.

Data generated by student teams is used as an effective outreach tool to private landowners and is shared with cooperating public and private entities in an effort to inform and develop future restoration projects.

Program Goals:

Awareness– Promote understanding and support for watershed education and enhancement.

Knowledge– Promote understanding of ecosystems.

Empowerment & Ownership – Promote understanding of human impacts on and interconnection with natural systems. Cultivate the belief in everyone’s ability to make a difference.

The WATERS Program is generously supported by:

  • City of Cottage Grove
  • City of Creswell
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Gray Family Foundation
  • McKenzie Watershed Council
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
  • Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution
  • Spirit Mountain Community Fund
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Forest Service.

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