Placement Site Applicants

image salmonid fish

Underwater view of salmonid count.

The Placement Site Application for the Watershed Stewards Program Year 30 (October 2, 2023 to August 15, 2024) has closed. If you would like to be included on our mailing list for future opportunities to apply to host Corpsmembers at your organization, please email with you contact information.

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.

Application Process Calendar for Year 30

January 9, 2023
Placement Site Application released

February 6, 2023
Placement Site Applications due to

March 24, 2023
Year 30 Placement Sites chosen and notified

May – July 2023
WSP Program Coordinators begin conducting initial interviews with qualified applicants

May 19, 2023
WSP/Placement Site contract process initiated

June 21, 2023
WSP/Placement Site contracts due to

July 8 – 21, 2023
Placement Site Mentors interview Corpsmember applicants

July 22, 2023
Mentors to submit their applicant rankings to

October 2 – 8, 2023
WSP Corpsmember Orientation in Fortuna

October 10 – 12, 2023
WSP Corpsmembers report to Placement Sites (sites determine exact date/time/location)

November 2023
WAVE and WOW! Training for Corpsmembers

August 15, 2024
WSP Corpsmember Recognition Ceremony

Placement Site Selection Process

California Conservation Corps staff review all applications for 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, anadromous watersheds
  • Corpsmember housing opportunities and site vehicle availability
  • Flexibility and support for all areas of Corpsmember service, including education and outreach
  • Funding security – see sliding scale ranges below

For existing or former Placement Sites only: Prior year(s) performance and compliance will be taken into consideration

Benefits of Partnering with WSP

As a program of the California Conservation Corps, WSP has created a solid reputation throughout the environemental 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 Background 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
  • Program-sponsored medical insurance. The monthly premiums will be fully paid by the program. Corpsmembers will be responsible for any required deductibles and out-of-pocket copayments.
  • Employee Assistance Program

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

  • Scholarship upon completion of the year’s commitments
  • Full uniform (pants, shirts, fleece jackets, raingear, hats)
  • First aid kits and throw ropes
  • Field gear (waders, stream boots)

Thorough Member Training and Certifications: WSP will train Corpsmembers in the following before they arrive to their host site:

  • State and Federal employee policies (EEO, Health & Safety)
  • First Aid/CPR certification
  • CCC driver safety training
  • Workplace professionalism and WSP Policies

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 Mentors and Corpsmembers. WSP staff will travel to Placement Sites to conduct Site Visits to ensure all partners and Corpsmembers are supported, when possible and as needed.

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 30: 2023-2024
    • Agency Sliding Scale: $18,000 – $21,500
    • Agency (with housing) Sliding Scale: $16,300 – $19,500
    • Non-Profit: $12,500 – $16,500
      CDFW partners do not pay a match since FRGP funds cover this cost, but CDFW sites are limited
  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. All Corpsmember activities must be on public lands or waterways or have a public benefit (cannot benefit for-profit organizations).
  5. Placement Site is not political and doesn’t have a negative reputation in the community. 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 volunteer or staff positions. Organizations that do not meet these guidelines will not be considered as WSP Placement Sites.
  6. At least one representative (preferably Site Supervisor & all Mentors) must attend WSP’s Placement Site Training annually (may be in person or online).
  7. Corpsmembers must have regular access to office space, telephone, computer, reliable Internet, and either an agency vehicle or reimbursement for private vehicle use for site specific work (see for private vehicle use for site-specific work.
  8. Corpsmembers must always work with a CPR/First Aid trained field partner. WSP trains all Corpsmembers in First Aid/ CPR.
  9. Placement Sites must participate in the recruitment and Corpsmember selection process, including conducting interviews via telephone or video conference in mid-July.
  10. Mentors help ensure Corpsmembers adhere to all AmeriCorps and WSP policies.
  11. At least one representative (Preferably main Mentor) must attend WSP’s Recognition Ceremony in August
  12. 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.
    • Attend all required WSP trainings (Orientation, WAVE and WOW! Regional Training, and WSP Recognition 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 2nd-6th grade students (goal of 25 students or more). The WOW! curriculum consists of five 80-minute lessons focusing on human impacts and interactions with watersheds, local problems and solutions for salmon populations, pollution solutions, importance of biodiversity, life of a salmon, and water is a finite resource.

Outreach: All WSP Corpsmembers may attend a community outreach event in their district/region during their term of service. These opportunities are identified each year by the Program Coordinators; past events have included the Klamath-Trinity Fish Fair, Creek Days, and San Luis Obispo Earth Day. 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 30 community volunteers.

Corpsmember Development: WSP provides many training opportunities for Corpsmembers. The year begins with a week-long Orientation, followed by a WAVE and WOW! 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