Conservation is Key for Our Watershed Future

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SYRCL’s River Education Program performed “The Great Water Mystery” and the “Journey of the Salmonid” assemblies to thousands of youth in Sacramento, Nevada, Placer, and El Dorado Counties in 2017. These free in-school assemblies are interactive programs led by Detective Drizzle and the Salmon Lady, who use engaging stories to teach children about water conservation and salmonid life-cycles.

Both assemblies incorporate California Science Standards, making them extremely desirable to teachers as it fits well with school curriculum requirements. The Great Water Mystery presentation is adapted for each grade level, so that the mystery story teaches age-appropriate science concepts for kindergarten through sixth grade while delivering a powerful message about water conservation. The presentation stars Detective Drizzle and uses hilarious audience participation, dramatic slides, exciting demonstrations and fun stories to keep students engrossed while teaching them to understand the effects that their actions have on our water supply. SYRCL’s assembly program has educated over 250,000 students about water conversation since 2001.

Students and teachers alike sing the praise of the “Great Water Mystery”.  A Colfax Elementary School teacher said, “what an engaging way to learn about a serious topic that affects us all!”

“Your presentation was terrific! It was entertaining, funny and we all learned a lot about water,” said a 5th grade student at Bowman Elementary.

“SYRCL’s ‘Great Water Mystery’ starts a critical conversation with local students about where our water comes from, where it goes, and the power each of us has to ensure there is enough of this precious resource for us and all of the other species who depend on the river,” said Shana Maziarz, SYRCL Board Member and co-chair of SYRCL’s River Education Committee.

Accompanying the 50-minute assembly, teachers receive a curriculum packet with fun and engaging activities to teach students about water and conservation. They learn about the properties of water, the unique qualities of a watershed, and how to reduce their use of water at home and in school.

It’s looking like 2018 will be yet another drought year. Conservation will be at the forefront of our minds. Bringing an assembly to your school is a great way to engage local youth in the discussion.

The Great Water Mystery program will continue to run in spring and fall of 2018 in tandem with SYRCL’s Water Audits program. The Journey of the Salmonid program will continue, pending funding.

To bring an assembly to your child’s school or to learn more about either of these free and relevant educational opportunities, please contact SYRCL’s River Education Coordinator – Megan Learned at 530-265-5961 ext. 218 or

Many thanks to The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, El Dorado County Water Agency, The Cosumnes American Bear Yuba (CABY) IRWM, Department of Water Resources, and the cities of Nevada City and Grass Valley for making these programs available to our community schools.

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