Online Virtual River Kats Program

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River KATS: Kid Activism Through Science


Developed in 2006, River Kid Activism Through Science is an environmental education program that introduces K-12 students to watershed concepts through in-class activities and hands-on field trips, provided at zero cost to Title 1 public schools in the IE. We offer a unique service by providing opportunities that bring textbook pages to life at a time when budget cuts have eliminated these important learning experiences. We believe that getting kids "to the field" enriches the curriculum for elementary students, as well as AP environmental science, environmental science, general science, life science, biology, and chemistry classes.

River KATS also promotes environmental science development and hands-on lessons in water quality issues and watershed protection. Through past work, we have found students consistently lack awareness on the pure existence of their local waterways. There also seems to be a void in understanding basic connections in water quality issues; many do not realize how urban runoff travels to storm drains which lead to rivers, and eventually downstream to our oceans. Furthermore, as local schools face budget cuts, funds for schools have been shifted away from excursions, leaving school districts unable to fund any field trips. Waterkeeper works to fill this opportunity through River KATS by reestablishing valuable field trip opportunities that allow students the ability to use the surrounding watershed as a living laboratory to encourage stewardship throughout the Santa Ana Watershed.

2019 - 2020 School Year (August 2019 - July 2020)

Inland Empire Waterkeeper is proud to announce that the 13th year of River KATS has begun! Applications will be available starting the week of August 6, 2019. River KATS will bring your class to a local watershed destination, which may include a local water body, wetlands, ecological reserves, or wastewater treatment plants. On these field trips, students learn about the Santa Ana River watershed, water quality issues, and environmental science topics pertaining to their community. These field trips are sponsored by local organizations and donors in order to promote STEM awareness and to get local students involved in community affairs. To qualify for a free field trip, you must be part of a K-12 Title 1 public school within Riverside & San Bernardino counties. This award may include all or some of the following: bus reimbursement (maximum of $500), facility fee reimbursement, substitute teacher reimbursement.

Field trip locations are subject based on school location. Field trip destination availability varies throughout the school year. Some field trip destinations are unavailable based on school location. Field trip sponsors are often from local organizations and/or individuals who would like to see local students attend locations within their own community. Please see the following list to determine what locations are available for your school:

  • JUSD: Santa Ana River at the Santa Ana River Regional Park
  • CNUSD: Corona DWP Water Treatment Plant, Tin Mine Canyon, Prado Wetlands (may include Hidden Valley Nature Center in the future)
  • PUSHD, Val Verde, PESD: Lake Perris, Santa Ana River

All other districts have all of the options available listed in the field trip locations document.

Please note: Signing up for a field trip does not guarantee a field trip for your class. Should your class be awarded, you will be contacted by e-mail or by phone. You will also receive an e-mail with a welcome letter should you be awarded the field trip. You may see a Sample Welcome Letter as well as a Field Trip Timeline here.

Each field trip includes an in-class presentation. In-class presentation will discuss watershed concepts, water quality issues in Riverside & San Bernardino counties, and how to prepare for the upcoming field trip. Pre-field trip assessments will also be distributed during this presentation in order to gauge what the students know.

Should you have any questions, feel free to call us at (951) 530-8823.

Sign-up for a FREE River KATS Field Trip Today! Sign me up!





Waterkeeper established Rivercamp, a summer program, in 2014 to connect the inland's youth to nature, science, and the Santa Ana River. At Rivercamp, students learn about important concepts in ecology, water science, and earth science through hands-on activities. They connect with nature and the treasure in their own backyard, the Santa Ana River. Rivercampers also go on nature walks, splash in the river, meet live animals, and learn how to be better environmental stewards while interacting with geologists, biologists, and zoologists. Rivercamp interconnects STEM-based science and nature while providing young children an opportunity to explore their river!


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Classroom Watershed Education

Waterkeeper conducts in-class presentations and assemblies at local elementary schools. We educated students and teachers on water sustainability and watershed science. We focus on education that helps reduce stormwater pollution and educate on water conservation, increased awareness of water resource sustainability, and reducing runoff.

We start by educating teachers on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and California's Education and Environment Initiative (EEI). We provide teachers with an understanding of watershed science, stormwater pollution, and water quality testing. We give teachers the tools to integrate watershed science into their curriculum in an interactive way. 

We conduct individual in-class presentations with students that are both informative and interactive. We provide students the knowledge to make them better water stewards. The in-class presentations are part lecture and hands-on activities. We also provide students the chance to interact with live animals.




 Contact IE Waterkeeper for Teacher and Facility Workshops in:

-Watershed Science

-Stormwater Education

-Drought Education

School-Wide Assemblies 

Waterkeeper also conducts school-wide assemblies that touch base on water sustainability and stormwater pollution. We provide students with a visual educational experience on stormwater pollution and becoming better water stewards. DROPSASSE_(2).jpgDROPSASSEM.jpg

Contact us for Water Stewardship Assemblies!

-Teaches children about the Santa Ana Watershed

-Informs children of water conservation

-Encourages stewardship

-Free giveaways!