Austin Youth River Watch

In the early 1990’s, sparked by a belief that Austin could benefit enormously from a program that mentored high-school students in both personal accountability and environmental stewardship, SBCA Board member Jack Goodman and Wes Halverson led an effort to create Austin Youth River Watch.




With initial funding and long-term support from the City of Austin and LCRA, Austin Youth River Watch began teaching students to collect and track water-quality data. Students also learned leadership skills and were encouraged to stay in school.


Today, the core program remains the same, and AYRW now serves about 120 students per year from 9 high schools in the Austin Independent School District. Their success rate speaks for itself: The high school graduation rate of River Watch Seniors is nearly 100%.


Save Barton Creek Association has been a supporting partner of Austin Youth River Watch for many years. Our support has allowed AYRW to purchase an additional van to transport students from their schools to the testing sites. River Watchers and staff test the water quality of Barton Creek on two sites, which helps us to monitor the health of this important waterway.


For more information about Austin Youth River Watch, contact Brent Lyles, Executive Director at