REEF - Restoring Ecosystems, Educating Future Conservation Leaders


The REEF program is an educational partnership developed by SDCWC to protect and restore local watersheds, promote environmental awareness, and provide conservation career development. We work with teachers and science professionals to facilitate hands-on aquatic science lessons, covering topics ranging from watershed health surveys and restoration, to water quality assessment and native plant propagation. REEF provides a means to teach students about the importance of healthy watersheds.


Help teachers integrate watershed science, conservation, and restoration into classroom teaching and curricula.

Encourage responsible land stewardship.  

Allow students to acquire career skills and knowledge in restoration and conservation.

Provide conservation career information and development.


Classroom lessons and activities

Prior to any outdoor field trip or project, we deliver comprehensive science lessons to educate students about the importance of watersheds, restoration, and wildlife, and provide a background for the field experience.

Restoration-based field trips

We provide restoration-based field trips in conjunction with classroom lessons. Some trips focus on site monitoring (water quality, stream surveys, habitat and wildlife surveys), while other trips focus on engineering solutions for restoration (designing and putting in culverts, log structures or fish ladders). We plan and implement all field trip activities, and bring in local experts and scientists to provide professional guidance in the field.

Annual Career Day

In coordination with local science teachers, we host and organize a Career Day for high school students, during which natural resource and conservation leaders provide details about their respective careers and work duties, and share information about training and skills needed to pursue similar career paths

Ecology Camp

Our annual Ecology Camp is held at Camp Westwind, where we bring students for two days of hands-on outdoor education in the breathtaking Salmon River Estuary.  Ecology Camp participants synthesize and present the results of long-term monitoring, design projects, and knowledge they have gained through REEF. Click here to see our 2014 Ecology Camp!


We host internships for youth, providing career training in water quality monitoring, restoration, and environmental education.  Some internships may be paid.  We also help facilitate internships with other partner organizations.  This training looks great on a résumé or college application, and provides skills, job contacts, and opportunities to work in your local area!  For more information about internship opportunities, please contact:

Native Plant Nursery

We maintain a native plant nursery in partnership with Taft 7-12 School, in Lincoln City, Oregon. The nursery provides plants for local habitat restoration projects, and is an ideal venue for educating elementary, high school, and special education students about plant care and use of native plants as a restoration tool.

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