Upstream Downstream Connection

Our actions on land create reactions in the ocean, good and bad. There is an upstream downstream connection between us. The River Guardians Water Monitoring program, Stow It-Don’t Throw It marine debris recycling and awareness project, Outdoor Nature-based programs, Paint The Drain storm water awareness project, Service Learning, and Student Leadership Development are components of our Upstream Downstream Connection.

Our Summer Camp programs are led by our Turtle Team and engage underserved youth in outdoor, environmental and nature-based programs and activities including solo kayaking, trail biking, fishing, water testing and nutrition scavenger hikes.

Stow It-Don’t Throw It monofilament recycling and marine debris awareness – personal size fishing line recycling bins are created from empty tennis ball containers. We have assembled and distributed over 12,000 containers.

Paint The Drain – storm drains throughout Greenville are stenciled with the message “Don’t pollute. Flows to the river.” to bring awareness of what goes into the storm drains flows directly into our rivers. Watch our new video here.

Water Testing – The River Guardians water monitoring program has provided sophisticated water testing equipment to schools across the state and engaged thousands of students. Partnering with River Park North, we have recently constructed a state-of-the-art Water Discovery Lab.


FAN (Fitness and Nutrition) Club activities build scientific knowledge about food and nutrition science and encourage participants to understand and practice science in the context of healthy living.

Youth Scuba Club – explore the ocean, dive deep into underwater conservation issues, and engage underrepresented demographics in scuba diving. Keep Your Bottom Clean is a marine debris clean up initiative created by our youth divers. Xploration Station Awesome Planet featured the dive club in a recent Guardians of the Environment episode – watch it here!

Student Leadership Development is an important component of our program. We provide opportunities for youth to take leadership roles, create and  initiate projects, serve as mentors and role models, and impact our community and beyond.