Drought Busters: Water Conservation and Salmonid Education in a Drought Environment

(Classrooms in the Lower Mad River and Eureka Plain Watersheds)

Species / Location

The Lower Mad River and Eureka Plain Watersheds will benefit from this program. In particular, Salmon Creek, Mad River, Freshwater Creek, Jacoby Creek and Elk River are streams near selected schools. All of these waterways support populations of Chinook and coho salmon, and steelhead and cutthroat trout.

Need for Project

Streams in the Lower Mad River and Eureka Plain watersheds are experiencing historic low flows during the current drought cycle. Fish and wildlife are directly affected by diminishing flows and increasing water temperatures. People living in the region also rely on these limited water resources. An educational program would be appreciated that demonstrates the benefits of water conservation and teaches students how they can help endangered salmon and steelhead by collecting and using rainwater for gardens, greenhouses and landscaping.

Project Benefits

Education and water conservation will indirectly benefit Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead and cutthroat trout by providing an alternate source of water for watering the grounds. Students will be given the opportunity to practice conservation in action through the installation and stewardship of school rain barrels. Thirty five (fifth grade classrooms) in 24 schools will receive a one hour classroom presentation, assistance with rain barrel installation, posters and project suggestion lists.


Program benefits and rain barrel use will be monitored and assessed by pre- and post-program questionnaires.


  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Redwood Community Action Agency