Austin Youth River Watch
River Watchers Restoring Austin Streams
Austin Youth River Watch combines environmental education with drop-out prevention, providing a safe place for teenagers to grow and gain confidence, while learning to be active stewards of our planet. In the current program, approximately 120 at-risk students from nine Austin Independent School District high schools learn to collect, analyze, and publish water-quality data from 25 freshwater sites along Austin-area streams and the Colorado River. The new program funded by Impact Austin will engage these students in hands-on stream restoration projects, such as bank stabilization, vegetation management, and trail building. These week-long service-learning projects will include a weekend “work day” with community volunteers led by the students. The new program will benefit Austin-area streams and the ecosystems they support through at least 10 restoration projects each year; enhance students’ knowledge of aquatic science and improve their leadership skills; and involve at least 100 new community volunteers.