Educating future caretakers of our water resources.

The Young Water Stewards program reaches out to high school students in rural Whatcom County to help our future water stewards develop an understanding of and appreciation for the importance of clean water. Through stewardship activities, hands-on learning, and a science-based approach, high school-aged participants will gain experience with water quality testing and analysis, Best Management Practices, and mitigation techniques to develop valuable skills and apply their learning to protect the health of our drinking water, creeks, lakes, and beaches. Read the press release.

How it works

Students will learn about watersheds, sources of non-point water pollution, and the complex barriers to clean water. Students will take a tour of several areas within their local watersheds and conduct water quality sampling at diverse locations. 

Follow-up lessons will allow students to compare and contrast their data, using the results to examine Best Management Practices and how they are informed by Best Available Science. The students will conclude the project by discussing the value of individual stewardship actions and participating in a stewardship project.

Check out our Sustainable Schools Blog to read more about our fall 2018 classes with Blaine High School and Nooksack Valley High School and our spring classes with Blaine High School

By the end of the program, students will be able to:

  • Show they know more about the local watershed by identifying the components of their local watershed.
  • Demonstrate that they care about their local watershed by being able to articulate how land-use practices impact the health of the watershed.
  • Understand the importance of individual and community stewardship actions that help keep our watersheds healthy.

Read about participating schools

Clean water education in Whatcom County by Andrea Reiter, Education Specialist, Sustainable Schools Program. Read about some Young Water Stewards work in 2017. Students installed a dog bag dispenser station at the entrance to their soccer field to encourage pet-owners to pick up dog poop, tested water quality in their local waterways, and took an 8-week elective class about land use.

21st Century Kids Take On a 21st Century Problem: Non-Point Source Pollution by Andrea Reiter, Education Specialist, Sustainable Schools Program Do you know what non-point source pollution is? How about the effects of non-point source pollution has on water quality ...

Blaine High School students study their local watershed, tour salmon stream as part of Young Water Stewards The Sustainable Schools and Clean Water programs at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities joined forces in 2016 to launch Young Water Stewards for high school students in rural Whatcom County ...

Get involved

High school teachers in Whatcom County can email Sustainable Schools program manager Priscilla Brotherton atfor information about how to enroll in the Young Water Stewards program. 

The program includes three in-class lessons, one or two field trips to tour the local watershed and perform water quality sampling, and a stewardship or culminating project for a total of 3-5 class periods.


Contact us if you would like to be a chaperon or volunteer supporting the Young Water Stewards program:

Priscilla Brotherton
Sustainable Schools Program Manager
(360) 733-8307 ext. 218

Teacher resources

Interested in signing up? View the curriculum, pre- and post-surveys, student worksheets, and student research guide by clicking the links below.

Thanks to the 
Mountaineers Foundation for awarding the 2017 Paul Wiseman Conservation Education Grant to RE Sources. This generous funding supports our Young Water Stewards Program. 

The Water Stewards program is funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and their National Ocean Service Education Program. Read more.