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Once Upon A Watershed Recommends

1. Disposing of waste in an environmentally safe way Harmful waste can end up the ocean when not properly disposed of, hurting the health of the ocean. Recycle and reuse whenever possible, and dispose of chemicals properly – never pour them down the drain or in the toilet. 


2. Picking up pet waste In a 20-square-mile watershed draining to a small coastal bay, two to three days of droppings from a 100 dogs would contribute enough E.coli bacteria to temporarily close the bay to swimming.
Tell People About Ocean Conservation and Spread the Word! One person can make a difference, but think how much greater an impact you’ll have if you recruit your friends to the cause! Tell your friends about the issues and use social media to raise awareness.

Using commercial car washes The best place to wash your car is at a commercial car wash, many of which filter their water before directing it to treatment plants. If you must wash your vehicle at home, park it on the grass first, so your lawn absorbs some of the detergent runoff and contaminants.

4. Going Native Add native plants to your landscape.  They require less water and fertilizer and are more resistant to pests and disease since they are already adapted to local conditions. Buffer streams. If you have a stream on your property, provide a natural buffer of native trees, shrubs, and plants around its banks to filter dirty storm water runoff.

5. Don't 'P' in the water Runoff containing too much phosphate (“P”) helps feed algae blooms and weed growth in area waterways.  Use only phosphate-free automatic dishwasher detergents, deck cleaners and lawn fertilizers.

6. Planting a rain garden Excess runoff can cause flooding and stream-bank erosion during rainstorms. Creating a rain garden with native grasses, trees, and shrubs gives runoff from your home’s downspouts a chance to soak naturally into the ground. Add a rain barrel to save water for later use.

7. Spreading the word about conservation Learn more about how to conserve your local watershed and share the wealth. Check out our links below for more tips and links!​

Conservation Links

Links to Support Conservation

Conservation - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Spread the word! Spread information regarding conservation of water, reducing our use of plastics, and overfishing. Conservation of our watershed leads to a healthy one!

Eat Sustainable Seafood. Learn about which seafood is in-line with conservation. 

Overfishing is a global problem, and many common fishing and farming methods result in major habitat damage or large amounts of bycatch – other species are caught unintentionally and are often thrown back dead. Go to Monterey Bay Seafood Watch for information while dining in restaurants, and Marine Stewardship Council while in stores.

Reduce Your Plastic Use! 50-80% of marine debris is plastic. It breaks down into smaller pieces, but never goes away. The ocean’s five major gyres, giant swirling currents, often trap this debris, turning the ocean into a toxic plastic soup. Marine animals often mistake it for food and can choke and or starve to death due to throat obstruction. It also entangles and injures them, making it difficult to swim or fly and this could lead to drowning. For information on the plastic pollution research visit

The ocean is increasingly becoming overcrowded by plastic waste, posing a danger to this vital ecosystem. Marine life mistake plastics as food, overcrowding their stomaches with indigestible materials, eventually starving them to death. Larger pieces of plastics can entangle marine life. If ever, plastic can take up to a thousand years to degrade, most photodegrading into microplastics creating a plastic soup we once knew as our ocean. 

More than 93 hours in researching and finding out the best resources that will help to save us a lot of Water in our day to lives by making very small changes. This guide educates on how to conserve water in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, etc. 

Water Conservation Activities and guide for Kids! 

Guide on How to talk to Kids about Climate Change!

Keep Beaches and Waterways Clean - All waterways lead to the ocean. Gather neighbors and friends and create your own beach clean up! Reduce Your Plastic Use! 

Join a coastal clean up effort! Find one near you through California Coastal Commission. 

Information on the formation and impact of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

A helpful page about The Clean Water Act

Create an ocean-friendly garden in your yard!

Online resource for building better water resilience and conservation. 

Teacher Resources

Teacher Resources

Links on integrating Watershed Conservation in the classroom and beyond

Learn about how the 36 million people who live in California create the 6 million pounds of trash every day and what we can do to reduce, reuse and recycle! 

Learn more about what causes a drought and how it affects the world around you. Track droughts, see what causes them and play games.

Links, games, coloring pages and a page about sewage.

A short interactive video explaining the water cycle from rain to groundwater and back to the clouds.



The Cycle of Insanity

The Real Story of Water: A short animated film (~20 min) that shows how people have dramatically changed the way the water cycle works, creating a system that wastes water and energy, creates pollution, harms marine life and more. Just as important, the video provides information on what can be done to help get in balance; produced by the Surfrider Foundation.

Check out our sister programs! 


The CREW’s Green Valley Project (GVP), launched in 2020, is a multi-year program supported by the Cotyledon Fund, a donor-advised fund focused on ecological resilience and youth development. GVP puts young people at the center of ecological restoration through education, leadership and restoration activities. Our primary goal is to help young people grow as environmental stewards who are committed to making a real difference in the environment of Ojai Valley.  To date GVP has served 700 youth and community members, planted 50 residential pollinator gardens, 4 community gardens, and 50 oak trees for Ojai residents.


Ventura Wild is dedicated to rekindling a deep sense of belonging and connection to the natural world through discovery, sensory awareness and play. By grounding children in nature we build a community that has a stake in the health of our planet, and we contribute to a more healthy, happy and humane childhood.

Ventura Wild provides Ojai and Ventura youth with after school, preschool, homeschool and summer programs. The intention is to connect kids with nature through exploration 

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