Young Water Stewards

Free outdoor-focused program for high school students in rural Whatcom County, taking a science-based approach with hands-on learning and stewardship activities.

Completed on June 1, 2019

Educating future caretakers of our water resources.

Young Water Stewards is a free, outdoor-focused program for high school students in rural Whatcom County to help our future leaders develop an understanding of — and appreciation for — the importance of clean water. Through a science-based approach of hands-on learning and stewardship activities, students gain experience with water quality testing and analysis, best management practices, and mitigation techniques to develop and apply valuable skills for protecting the health of our drinking water, creeks, lakes, and beaches. The program can be tailored to any class schedule. Read the press release.

“The program exceeded my expectations for student learning outcomes. This was an absolute delight. The students were able to directly connect the place they live and the actions within their community to the health and sustainability of our local streams, and could see how they connect to the larger ecology of the area as well as benefits to people in this area of having clean water.”  — Jennifer Wright, Science Department, Blaine High School

Program Outline

The program includes anywhere from three to five class periods, depending on each teacher’s objectives and class schedule: three in-class lessons, one or two field trips to tour your local watershed and perform water quality sampling, and a stewardship project.

The curriculum answers the following questions:
  • Pre-lesson (teacher led): What is a watershed?
  • Part 1 (in class): What are the barriers to clean water?
  • Part 2 (field experience): What are the components of your local watershed?
  • Part 3 (field experience): How do you investigate your local water quality?
  • Part 4 (field experience): What are indicator species for water quality?
  • Part 5 (in class): What does our data tell us and what are the Best Management Practices?
  • Part 6 (field experience): What are stewardship actions you take the improve the health of your watershed?
Check out these blog posts to learn more:
By the end of the program, students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate new knowledge developed about their local watershed by identifying its components and local sources of pollution.
  • 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.
Teacher resources

View the curriculum, pre- and post-surveys, student worksheets, and student research guide by clicking the links below.

Get involved

We’re not currently offering this program but hope to in the hear future, please reach out if you’re interested!

Interested in signing up? For more information, please contact

We are recruiting volunteers to support the Young Water Stewards program. Contact us today if you would like to be a chaperon or volunteer.

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