Placement Site Applicants

image salmonid fish

Underwater view of salmonid count.

The WSP Year 29 (October 3, 2022 – August 17, 2023) Placement Site Application is now available to download here. Applications are due by February 4, 2022.

If you are interested in applying to host Corpsmembers at your organization for the first time, please see below and contact with questions.

Each year, the Watershed Stewards Program partners with approximately 25 environmental organizations throughout California to support and mentor our WSP Corpsmembers as they begin their careers as environmental professionals.

The Placement Site Selection Process
Representatives from community-based watershed groups, private landowners, local tribes, governmental agencies, legislative field personnel, program founders, program staff, and WSP Team Leaders make up the WSP Advisory Committee. Together, they review all applications for compliance with WSP objectives and the ability to provide Corpsmembers with a rewarding term of service.

Placement Site Applications emphasizing these qualities will be given priority:

  • Alignment of Corpsmember activities with WSP’s mission, objectives, and performance measures
  • Diversity of Corpsmember activities and professional development opportunities, including hands-on field training
  • High-quality mentorship (see “Mentor Position Description” below)
  • Watershed recovery work in high-need; coastal anadromous watersheds
  • Corpsmember housing opportunities and site vehicle availability
  • Flexibility and support for all areas of Corpsmember service, including education and outreach
  • Funding security
  • For existing sites only: Current and prior year(s) performance and compliance will be taken into consideration
Application Process Calendar for Year 29

January 7, 2022
Placement Site Application released

February 4, 2022
Placement Site Applications due to

April 5, 2022
Year 29 Placement Sites chosen and notified

May – July 2022
WSP Program Coordinators conduct initial interviews with applicants

May 19, 2022
WSP/Placement Site contracts distributed by WSP

June 16, 2022
WSP/Placement Site contracts due to

July 8 – 22, 2022
Placement Site Mentors interview Corpsmember applicants

July 22, 2022
WSP Corpsmember applicant rankings due to

October 2 – 8, 2022
WSP Corpsmember Orientation (location Fortuna or virtual)

October 11 – 13, 2022
WSP Corpsmembers report to Placement Sites (sites determine exact date/time/location)

December 2022
Regional I and II Training for Corpsmembers

August 17, 2023
WSP Corpsmember Recognition Ceremony

Benefits of Partnering with WSP

As a program of the California Conservation Corps, WSP has created a solid reputation throughout the natural resource community.

When you partner with WSP, you receive the following:

Exclusive Recruitment:

  • WSP staff conducts initial interviews and provides sites with a minimum of eight well-matched applicants to interview and select from. Complete application packets are provided (WSP Application, Resume, Cover Letter, Letters of Recommendation, and initial interview notes/score).

Extensive Corpsmember Screening: WSP conducts an extensive screening process before Corpsmembers arrive to your site, including:

  • DOJ/FBI criminal history check
  • NSOPR (National Sex Offender) check
  • Pre-employment physical and drug test
  • DMV Driving Record pull

Covered Employer Costs: WSP covers employer costs, including:

  • Monthly stipends (around minimum wage)
  • Workers compensation
  • Healthcare benefits and liability insurance
  • Reimbursement for WSP-related travel
  • Field Gear and Uniform
  • Employee Assistance Program

Covered Corpsmember Benefit Costs: WSP provides Corpsmembers with many benefits, including:

  • Estimated $6k+ scholarship upon completion of the year’s commitments
  • No-cost medical and dental insurance
  • Full uniform (pants, shirts, jackets, raingear, hats)
  • First aid kits and rope bags
  • Field gear (waders, stream boots)

Thorough Member Training and Certifications: Corpsmembers come to sites with the following training:

  • State and Federal employee policies (EEO, Health & Safety)
  • First Aid/CPR certification
  • CCC driver safety training
  • Professional development

Public Outreach:

  • Corpsmembers conduct vital community outreach and provide positive public relations for agencies.

Corpsmember/Mentor Support:

  • WSP staff are available throughout the year to provide valuable support to both Placement Sites and Corpsmembers. WSP staff travel to Placement Sites to conduct annual Site Visits to ensure all partners and Corpsmembers are supported.

Corpsmember Management Support:

  • WSP provides Placement Sites with on-going support in the areas of Corpsmember management and discipline (if the rare need arises).
Placement Site Responsibilities
  1. Placement Sites must provide a dollar match per Corpsmember based on the following sliding scale:
    • Program Year 28: 2021-2022
    • Agency Sliding Scale: $16,500 – $18,500
    • Agency (with housing) Sliding Scale: $15,300 – $18,500
    • Non-Profit: $11,500 – $15,500
      CDFW partners do not pay a match since FRGP funds cover this cost
  2. Placement Site must provide full-time, rewarding work for Corpsmembers that aligns with WSP’s service areas (see below).
  3. All designated Mentors must have experience in supervision.
  4. Placement Site is not political and doesn’t have a negative reputation in the community.
    Please note: All hours served by WSP Corpsmembers must be non-controversial and non-political in nature and directly relate to the WSP mission. WSP Corpsmembers cannot be engaged in general clerical support or regulatory activities, and WSP Corpsmembers cannot supplant staff positions. Organizations that do not meet these guidelines will not be considered as WSP Placement Sites.
  5. At least one representative (preferably Site Supervisor & all Mentors) must attend WSP’s Placement Site Training annually.
  6. Corpsmembers must have regular access to office space, telephone, computer, Internet, and an agency vehicle or reimbursement ($.575/mile) for private vehicle use for site-specific work.
  7. Corpsmembers must always work with a CPR/First Aid trained field partner. WSP trains all Corpsmembers in First Aid/ CPR.
  8. Placement Sites must participate in the recruitment and Corpsmember selection process, including conducting interviews via telephone in mid-July.
  9. Ensure Corpsmembers adhere to all AmeriCorps and WSP policies.
  10. Mentors support Corpsmembers as they complete their service requirements, which include:
    • Serve the full 10.5-month term (1700 hours)
    • Coordinate a Watershed Awareness Volunteer Event (WAVE) (a community-based volunteer restoration project) and recruit the required number of volunteers.
    • Conduct Wonders of Watersheds! (WOW!) lessons with a local class. (goal of 25 students or more)
    • Attend all required WSP trainings (Orientation, Regional Training, and WSP Retreat) and all required outreach events for their district, which change slightly from year to year.
    • Serve a minimum of four hours on at least two National Service Days. (dates vary each year)
Corpsmember Activities

During their AmeriCorps term of service, WSP Corpsmembers gain experience in five areas: Watershed Recovery and Protection, Watershed Education, Community Outreach, Volunteer Recruitment, and Corpsmember Development. They spend approximately 72-percent of their time engaged in work with their Placement Site, while the remaining time is spent working on WSP requirements.

The majority of projects that Corpsmembers do at their Placement Sites must be hands-on restoration work, and align with the following guidelines:

  • Invasive Removals: Corpsmembers may remove non-native invasive plant species that use large amounts of water and decrease available resources for fish, wildlife, and humans. Corpsmembers may also assist in the removal of some invasive/non-native macroinvertebrates and fish species that are outcompeting salmonids in their natal watersheds.
  • Riparian Restoration/Revegetation: Corpsmembers may assist in rebuilding and expanding riparian buffers through revegetation projects. Corpsmembers will also restore the riparian corridor by planting willow cuttings streamside to increase cover and reduce bank erosion, as well as conducting broadcast seeding of native grass or forbs on hill slopes to stabilize soils and reduce erosion. Some nursery propagation is acceptable.
  • In-Channel Restoration: Corpsmembers may assist with installing large woody debris structures and creating off-channel ponds to recharge groundwater levels and restore rearing habitat for salmonids. Corpsmembers may remove/improve fish passage barriers and monitor culverts during storm events to ensure they are clear of debris. Corpsmembers may monitor water quality and quantity to assist our partners in ensuring community agriculture and industry does not exceed their total maximum daily loads of pollutants. Other activities may include riparian fence installation, litter removal, culvert improvements, etc.
  • Erosion Control/Sediment Load Reduction: Corpsmembers may assist with decommissioning roads in an effort to reduce sediment input into streams, which limits salmonid’s available food resources and habitat quality and quantity. Corpsmembers may participate in fuel reduction projects to decrease fire potential and proliferation.
  • Water Conservation: In an effort to prepare for the effects of climate change, WSP Corpsmembers may install water catchment systems and rainwater gardens on public lands. Using these conservation techniques in central and southern California will increase water availability during summer low flow conditions, mitigate storm water runoff from rain events, and help to recharge depleting groundwater and streamflow.
  • Pre-Project Data Collection and Project Maintenance: Corpsmembers may assist with pre-project data collection needed to establish project goals and monitoring objectives by conducting: implementation monitoring, habitat typing, spawning grounds surveys, restoration site assessment, presence/absence surveys, dive surveys, etc. Corpsmembers may engage in project maintenance such as effectiveness monitoring, weeding, and watering to ensure the success of the watershed recovery and protection interventions.

Corpsmembers engage in other activities under the guidance of WSP staff, including the following:

Education: All Corpsmembers must teach the Wonders of Watershed (WOW!) Education Program to at least one class of K-8th grade students (goal of 25 students or more). The WOW! curriculum consists of six lessons pertaining to: watersheds, conservation, the water cycle, the salmonid life cycle, habitats, and anatomy.

Outreach: All Corpsmembers participate in one outreach event during their time with WSP, these events may change from year to year and will be defined by WSP staff (SFR Conference, WSP Spring Training, etc.). These events are generally outdoor education-focused. Corpsmembers are encouraged to participate in other promotions of WSP and watershed education while with their Placement Site.

Volunteer Recruitment: All Corpsmembers must organize one Watershed Awareness Volunteer Event (WAVE) a hands-on community restoration project. Corpsmembers are responsible for facilitating the event and recruiting community volunteers.

Member Development: WSP provides many training opportunities for Corpsmembers. The year begins with a week-long Orientation, followed by a Regional Training in November or December to introduce Corpsmembers to the education and volunteer recruitment aspects of the program. Finally, all Corpsmembers come together in the summer to exit the program and celebrate their service term at the Recognition Ceremony in a centralized location in California.

The work that Corpsmembers do at their Placement Sites must align with WSP’s mission and goals and coincide with WSP guidelines.

Mentor Position Description


  • Strong professional standing, educational background, and supervisory experience
  • Professional association with a WSP Placement Site
  • Minimum of three years of expert skill and knowledge in environmental work
  • Experience in mentoring young professionals within the area of focus
  • Dedication to service within the community
  • Previous WSP Corpsmembers must have three years of post-WSP experience before qualifying as a Mentor

Detailed description of mentor duties (PDF)

WSP Funding Sources

WSP Funding Sources

  • California Conservation Corps
  • Fisheries Restoration Grant Program
  • AmeriCorps
  • Placement Site Partners