The Watershed Project's mission is to inspire San Francisco Bay Area communities to understand, appreciate, and protect our local watersheds.
We all are connected through the San Francisco Bay Area watershed, where water connects us from neighborhoods upstream down to the bay and ocean. The Watershed Project envisions a future where the value of that connection is widely shared in our communities; where we all take pride in caring for and enjoying our shared watershed and its abundant resources.
We envision a future where everyone in our communities has equitable access to a healthy environment that provides clean air and water. Along with our many community and local group partners, through educating, community organizing, restoring creeks, shorelines, and native plant communities, and implementing vital green infrastructure projects, The Watershed Project is committed to building environmental resiliency and equity in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We all have the power to protect our local watersheds. Exercise your power - join us!
Learn more about us in our 2022 Annual Report
Previous Annual Reports:
Watch our 20th Anniversary video
Equity and Inclusion Statement - Working Draft
We envision a future where everyone has equitable access to a healthy environment that supports a balance of diverse plant and animal life, clean water and air, and ample opportunities to enjoy the physical, mental, social, and health benefits that nature can provide.
The Watershed Project was founded with the intention of connecting people with their watersheds. Over the years, we have seen how individual and community-level action is key to watershed health. We have also seen the inequity of access to healthy watersheds. We acknowledge that underserved communities are disproportionately overburdened by layers of inequity. Black, Indigenous, and low-income communities of color are disproportionately impacted by industrial and transportation pollution and are especially vulnerable to climate change. These natural environments are often over-exploited, neglected, uninviting and inaccessible. We envision a future where we all have equitable access to a healthy environment that provides clean air and water.
As a non-profit, we work toward improving these conditions, and strive to put ourselves at the forefront of advocating and protecting the rights of communities that have access to less resources, including governmental resources. The Watershed Project centers our work on solutions with a mindful approach to building partnerships that actively support leaders in communities where we work. We provide resources to these impacted communities advocating for their own, and we work with governments to reduce such disparities and promote equitable and sustainable education, development projects, funding and policies. However, authentic participation and partnership requires mutual trust, built through meaningful relationships. The Watershed Project seeks feedback from community members and partners to ensure that our programs invite participation at each step of the process.
We recognize that existing systems, including the systems The Watershed Project works within the most – education, community organizing, and advocacy – are inequitable. We seek to decrease barriers that keep people from fully participating in The Watershed Project’s work, and we aim to foster a welcoming and healthy work environment for our staff, encouraging equal contribution in planning and decision making of all of our staff.
The Watershed Project values diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of our work. We believe that diversity makes us stronger and more innovative, and we prioritize connection, collaboration, empathy and compassion to achieve this goal. We recognize that building meaningful relationships with people from diverse backgrounds requires listening, learning and understanding. We also value reaching our goals as an organization through the interconnectedness of diversity, equity and inclusion, and how they work together to create an environment of respect and fairness. By embracing these principles, The Watershed Project aims to build a more equitable and inclusive world where everyone feels valued and respected.
Our equity, diversity, and inclusion work are guided by these principles: Integrity, Empathy, Respect, Connection, Collaboration, and Creativity.
This work will never be complete; therefore this statement will remain as a draft to reflect our continued evolution in our diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
Who We Are - For staff bios please click here.
The Watershed Project staff is composed of a passionate group of educators, nature lovers, facilitators, artists, and problem-solvers who implement our mission by always taking a collaborative approach in decision-making. In order to provide capacity for the communities with whom we work and to catalyze community action, we understand that a collaborative approach is the only equitable way.
Internally, we’re a cohesive team who genuinely enjoy working with one another and celebrating our differences as much as we truly enjoy working with community members. We’re experts in San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean ecosystems, biology, and habitat and plant communities, though we are constantly learning along the way. We possess all kinds of eclectic knowledge. We’re community organizers who build partnerships and manage large-scale green infrastructure projects and urban forestry initiatives, who take pride in our accomplishments while acknowledging we can never accomplish these projects alone. We value and encourage community science as a tool, and are leaders in curriculum design and environmental education who consciously create room for the next generation of leaders.
Where We Work
We work throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily in Contra Costa, Alameda, and San Francisco Counties. Since 1997, we have trained some 7,000 educators in place-based environmental education, and have served some 30,000 students, and 50,000 volunteers. We’ve chosen to work to protect and educate about the San Francisco Bay Area because we love it! It’s a region of unparalleled beauty and significance and we are motivated to protect it and to share its wonders with kids and adults of all ages through education, green infrastructure, and numerous opportunities to volunteer for activities that promote a healthy watershed and equitable access to green spaces and neighborhood beautification.
How We Work
We help people realize they are part of a living community—the web of organisms that inhabit the larger San Francisco Bay watershed and depend on it for clean soil, air, and water. The Watershed Project’s services intersect awareness and action, education and stewardship. Our goal is to catalyze increasing individual awareness and stewardship of the environment by promoting stronger human relationships with the natural world that’s here within the city.