SYRCL’s Education Department Empowers Youth as River Stewards Through its Water Quality Monitoring Program

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Part of the South Yuba River Citizens League’s mission is to educate young people throughout the watershed in an engaging way in order to instill and foster in them a sense of stewardship of the watershed. This is done with the goal of keeping the Yuba healthy both now and in the future.  

Whether it’s on the river as part of the Salmon Expedition program, out in the field with the Earthwatch and YOLO programs, or in the classrooms with SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival School Program, SYRCL’s Education Department, led by Education Director Monique Streit, is constantly trying to expand its already successful efforts to teach river science and river stewardship to as many area students as possible. 

One of the more recent additions to SYRCL’s education outreach has been the Water Quality Monitoring Program. Each Spring, SYRCL and Tahoe National Forest offer “Creating River Stewards: Monitoring Water Quality of Public Lands” for 6th through 12th grade students. This educational opportunity is funded by a National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) Forest Service Greening STEM Grant. 

In this program, area High School students are trained in water quality monitoring practices that emulate SYRCL’s award winning River Monitoring Program. Students collect water quality data, analyze and interpret the data they collect, and then use what they learned to teach others in their community about how they can be better stewards of the watershed. Students also learn river etiquette to become River Ambassadors. 

This past spring, SYRCL worked with students from Bitney Prep High School in Grass Valley, and students from Downieville Jr./Sr. School as well. Students gathered and interpreted water quality data at Oregon Creek and the Middle Yuba, and then produced a series of Public Service Announcements.  

Next year, SYRCL’s Education Department hopes to expand this program further and help cultivate and educate future advocates for the Yuba River. 

If you would like to help SYRCL’s Education Department continue to bring quality river stewardship education to our area students, please consider donating today. 

Photos from the Downieville Jr./Sr. School and Bitney Prep Charter High School’s 2023 Water Quality Program

Video Compilation of Student Created Public Service Announcements

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