Caring for our Watersheds

How CFW Works

CFW asks students to submit a proposal that answers the question:

"What can you do to improve your watershed?"

The Contest:

  • Students can work independently, or as a team of no more than four to research their local watershed, identify an environmental concern, and come up with a realistic solution. Students are encouraged to discuss ideas with parents, teachers, friends, and local experts.
  • Proposals should be approximately 1,000 words and include visuals and a budget.
  • Entries are scored by a panel of judges on the following areas: realistic idea, environmental impact, clear communication, innovation, scope, budget, and visuals.
  • Ten finalists/ teams will make 5-minute verbal presentations at a final competition.
  • All finalists win cash rewards (up to $1000) for themselves and matching rewards for their schools. Schools also receive $100 for every ten complete proposals submitted, even if they do not send students to finals.

Project Implementation (voluntary):

  • In addition to cash rewards, there is also $10,000 (up to $1000 per project) available for students to implement their projects.
  • ALL participants (finalists and other) are eligible for these "mini-grant" implementation funds.

CFW 2017-2018 Important Dates:

Teacher/ Advisor Workshop:Thursday, Oct 19, 2017. Substitute reimbursement is available.
RSVP to by Oct 6th. This informational session will cover program logistics, resources, and service-learning ideas.

Proposal entry deadline: Friday, January 26, 2018
Entries are to be submitted online ( Teachers/Advisors must register school first. If no web access, contact CFW coordinator for paper registration/ submission.

Final Competition: Saturday, April 14, 2018

This event is the culmination of the Caring for Our Watersheds Program. In attendance will be 80-100 high school students, parents, teachers, and natural resource professionals from the Sacramento region. The top 10 proposals have been selected for their innovative ideas and environmental impact. Students will present their ideas and win $300 to $1,000 for themselves, and a matching award for their school. The 2016 & 2017 Final Competition & Awards Luncheon was proudly supported by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

NOTE: CFW California is currently open to all 9th-12th grade students who live in the Sacramento-San Joaquin watershed in Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, Colusa, Yuba, Sutter, Glenn, El Dorado, Placer, and San Joaquin counties.