coastal watershed council
Coastal Watershed Council

Get outdoors and explore your river!

Years active: 25

Their story: Executive director Greg Pepping and his team have a vision of transforming the lower San Lorenzo River into a community destination. Through programs aimed at inspiring people to explore, enhance and protect the river, Coastal Watershed Council wants to forge a greater connection between the community and this often overlooked natural resource. Past programs have included everything from neighborhood cleanups, to guided walks along the 5-mile loop that connects the Tannery Arts Center to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, river-themed art installations and working with youth through the Watershed Rangers education program. CWC is also actively working with the city on the goal of overhauling the Santa Cruz Riverwalk with path improvements, ADA compliant-accessibility and more.

Fundraising focus:
The Coastal Watershed Council accepts donations in a single fund which further its work on San Lorenzo River projects. According to Pepping, here are the type of things that money goes to:

  • Public art projects: The 24-foot-long mosaic water dragon that adorns the pedestrian bridge connecting River Street to San Lorenzo Park is an ode to the last Chinatown in Santa Cruz that was lost to the 1955 floods. Next up, Pepping says, will be an effort to add more culturally representative art pieces along the Riverwalk that "inspire and educate."
  • Online education: CWC is preparing meaningful distance learning activities that engage students in exploration and investigation of local environmental issues affecting the health of the San Lorenzo River.
  • Fostering volunteerism at the river: CWC is inspiring people to take action as an individual or, as a family, in lieu of group events.
Greg Pepping
Executive director

Greg won a local NEXTie award for his leadership in positively transforming the San Lorenzo River into a natural and cultural asset that Santa Cruzans are drawn to and proud of. He currently serves on the County of Santa Cruz’s Commission on the Environment and has served on the City of Santa Cruz Planning Commission and Water Supply Advisory Committee.
(831) 464-9200 x101

The San Lorenzo River not only provides drinking water to our community but also the opportunity to connect with nature right in the heart of town.

— Greg