Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools (DROPS)

Example of a rain garden

Example of a rain garden


By Chris Lim

Raise your hand if you learned about drought and water conservation in elementary school. How about middle school? Or high school? I’d be willing to bet that most of us didn’t get that sort of education in the classroom.

But times have changed. Our climate has changed. In California, we technically just got out of a 6 year drought. Could the next drought be even longer? Are we ready to endure a 10 year drought?

I am hopeful that we can adapt to climate change.

This school year marks the start of our new water conservation-focused program: Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools (DROPS). Our curricula highlight the connection between drought, watersheds, water, and inspires students to make positive environmental choices everyday. Students learn about water saving techniques they can use in their own lives and via low impact development (LID) projects at their schools. Some of the Lucia Mar Unified School District schools partnering with the program will also receive water conserving construction projects, such as permeable pavers, bioswales, and rain gardens.

Central Coast Salmon Enhancement serves our partner classrooms from Paulding Middle School and Central Coast New Tech High School with a year-long cohesive unit of either 5 or 10 classroom sessions throughout the year. Our activities are hands-on, inquiry based, and aligned to the Next Generation Standards. This program will serve 18 classrooms and approximately 500 local students over the next two years.

While our educational programming is always rooted in science, our curricula is designed to change behavior. We believe we can make the planet a healthier place, including all the species we share it with. The key is building awareness and educating young people on how to be stewards of our natural world.

Water is our most precious resource and our DROPS program will help future generations understand why and how to conserve it.


Program funded by the State Water Board.