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Educating students about water pollution prevention helps to create a generation of adults who are aware of pollution issues, and helps to change behaviors that lead to a cleaner environment.  Teachers are key players in this equation! In this section you'll find some fun and exciting ways for your students to learn about water and what can be done to prevent pollution in our waterways.


Laurel Elementary Green Infrastructure

Laurel Elementary School is an example of how green infrastructure can help make our school streets safe, clean, and sustainable. Read the full article on here.


FlowsToBay High School Green Infrastructure Contest 2017 


The San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program (SMCWPPP) invites you and your students to participate in our FlowsToBay High School Green Infrastructure Contest. This contest, which is open to all San Mateo County high school students, invites students to think critically about how to address local environmental issues through innovative green solutions that can be incorporated onto their school campus. The contest will be conducted in small groups in the classroom and will reward the top three classrooms with generous prizes to be spent according to the teacher and class’ needs.


Why Participate?

 For Teachers:

  1. An accessible and hands-on way to teach your students about pressing environmental issues such as stormwater pollution, water conservation, and green infrastructure;
  2. Receive a comprehensive Green Infrastructure Teacher Toolkit, with reference materials and educational resources to engage students on stormwater pollution and green infrastructure solutions to help guide them through creating a green infrastructure project proposal;
  3. Get your students excited about how to solve vexing environmental issues with innovative and natural solutions on their very own campus;
  4. Opportunities to receive prizes for classrooms with winning proposals and get publicized in countywide media outlets. 


For Students:

  1. Get a taste of what working on real environmental issues is all about by creating a project proposal that could be realistically designed and constructed at your high school
  2. Gain key research skills that make you well rounded and prepared for college;
  3. Chance to apply what you are learning in class to real world problems on your very own campus;
  4. Opportunity to be featured in San Mateo Countywide newsletters and media outlets.




Due Date

Item Due 


February 22, 2017


Intent to participate from teachers

Teachers will send email to with your intent to participate and approximately how many students from your class will be participating in the contest.

March 8, 2017


Proposals due to teachers for internal review

Students will submit project proposals to their teachers, who will select the top essay to submit to the County for consideration. 

March 15, 2017

Top project proposals due to FlowsToBay

Teachers will submit the selected project proposal and submit electronically to

March 31, 2017

Notification of contest results

FlowsToBay will announce the contest winners and publicize the winning students’ project proposals in the countywide newsletter.


Contact: If you are a San Mateo County high school teacher or student and interested in participating, reach out to Megan Kang at


Green Infrastructure Illustration

Lesson Plans:


Free "Pest or Pal" Curriculum Binder for Grade level 2-5
Curriculum and activities are to teach elementary school level Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Studying insects provides students with solid scientific information about one of the most numerous creatures on earth. The deciscion making process involved in IPM develops science literacy, critical thinking skills, and actively involves students in solving real world problems.
San Mateo County educators: To get your free 250 page binder, email with your name, school, and mailing address.


Grades 3-5 Understanding the Water Cycle




Lesson Plans:


Grade 6 Wastes and Recycling
Grades 7-12 Routes to the Environment
Grades 9-12 Plastic Trash and Wildlife and No Impact Project (5 lessons on consumption, energy, food, transportation, and water)
High School Curriculum from Contra Costa Clean Water Program


World Without Oil Lesson Plans World Without Oil is a reality game that simulates the first 32 weeks of a global oil shortage. Through a set of 11 stand-alone, interdisciplinary and engaging lesson plans, your students will understand the role oil currently plays in our economy and culture, and how to assess its impact on our future. For grades 6-12

Yes Magazine Middle School and High School Teachers can get a free one-year subscription. Website has great lesssons on green schools and low impact living.


Estuaries 101 Curriculum
World in Our Backyard Wetland Lesson Plans
Proper Disposal of Household Hazardous Waste
Facing the Future



Best Buy Electronics and Appliances Recycling Guide
Water Science for Schools: USGS
Kids for the Bay
North American Association for Environmental Education
Kids For Saving Earth
Stormwater Coalition
Go Green For Teachers
Environmental Education
The Great Sunflower Project for School Gardens
Recycleworks Schools Program


Art from Junk: Recycled Craft Ideas (thanks Natalie!)


CalMAX supports educators by offering free materials that support the implementation of curriculum instruction or art projects!


Community Service Credits: Participating in California Coastal (and Creek) Cleanup Day fulfills students community service requirements.


Grants for School Gardens: National Gardening Association and Sloat’s Adopt a Garden Grant.


Request Free Program Materials

The following materials can be used in the classroom to teach about pollution prevention:


  • You are the Solution to Water Pollution brochure
  • Newsletter: Pollution Prevention Post (7th grade -12th grade)
  • Coastal Cleanup Day Posters
  • Pest Control Fact Sheets for Less- and Non- Toxic Control
  • Erasers and Pencils
  • Kids Activity Guides (grades 4-7)
  • You Can Prevent Litter Coloring Book

Go to the publications page to request materials.



Healthy Schools Act of 2000

Assembly Bill 2260 This law puts into code the California Department of Pesticide Regulation's existing voluntary school IPM program and adds some requirements for schools, such as parental notification of pesticide application, warning signs, record keeping at schools and pesticide use reporting by licensed pest control businesses which apply pesticides at schools.
For more information on IPM in Schools visit:


List of Pesticide Products Prohibited from Use in Schools and Child Care Facilites
Parents" right to know: State regulations require schools and child care centers to give parents a list of pesticides that will be used throughout the year. Parents can also ask to be notified each time a pesticide is used, and parent notification of pesticide fog and spray use is required.


School Janitorial Less Toxic Cleaning Products Brochure

Safety was cited as the #1 concern among many janitors and building maintenance workers. This brochure will help in choosing less toxic cleaning products for school maintenance.


Schools Chemical Cleanout Program


Tips for a Cleaner Bay: How Your School Can Prevent Stormwater Pollution

This booklet is a step-by-step, easy to understand guide on how to comply with the stormwater laws that protect the environment. It's useful for school Maintenance Supervisors and staff, as well as Superintendent's and Teachers. Available in English and Spanish, covering the following topics:

Tips for a Cleaner Bay and Sugerencias para una Bahia mas Limpia


  • General Stormwater Pollution Prevention Practices
  • Equipment and Surface Washing
  • Floor and Carpet Cleaning
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Outdoor Storage
  • Construction and Remodeling
  • Local Agency Contacts


Bay Friendly School Garden Registration

9 schools in San Mateo County are registered as "Bay Friendly"gardens. Bay-Friendly gardeners:


  • Build healthy soil
  • Reduce waste in the garden
  • Conserve water
  • Create wildlife habitat
  • Protect local watersheds and the Bay
  • Contribute to a healthy community
  • Save energy


Registered Bay-Friendly gardeners provide neighborhood models of what a Bay-Friendly garden can offer-from an edible kitchen garden to a native wildlife habitat to a Mediterranean retreat.


  1. Community School South, East Palo Alto
  2. East Palo Alto Charter School, East Palo Alto
  3. Encinal School, Atherton
  4. Oak Knoll Elementary, Menlo Park
  5. Willow Oaks Elementary, Menlo Park
  6. Franklin Elementary, Burlingame
  7. Lincoln Elementary, Burlingame
  8. Park Way Heights Middle School, South San Francisco
  9. Robertson School, Daly City