This hands-on program takes 10 youth from communities throughout the region on an in-depth adventure through the Copper River watershed. Participants meet with representatives from a wide range of fields and perspectives along the way, learning about what makes this watershed so special, as well as the challenges the region faces.

After completing their journey, participants create a unique project to share their experience with others. We hope you enjoy the projects we have posted here and invite your ideas and feedback for future stewardship programs.

✻ The opportunity to raft the Copper River from Chitina to the Copper River delta, camping, exploring and learning about the amazing Copper River watershed.

✻ The chance to work with students from throughout the region as you learn about alien invaders (aka invasive species) and help monitor for them and eradicate any found.

✻ Optional credit available through your local school district. Ask for more details!

The 2023 Stewards are off!

Follow along in the mapper and dashboard to see where in the watershed the stewards are and what they’re seeing in their invertebrate samples!

Download the 2023 Copper River Stewardship Program information pdf here.

Application available by clicking the following link: 2023 CRSP application

DEADLINE TO APPLY March 31, 2023.

All youth currently in 8-12th grade are eligible. High School credit available.

Cost:  $300, scholarships are available. (In light of the uncertainty of the future because of Covid-19, at this point we are not requesting payments until we are sure we can safely continue on the adventure.)

Please contact the representative from your region listed below for more information. Be to check out the projects below that show the highlight’s from past adventures!


Cordova:  Lauren Bien, Prince William Sound Science Center, (907) 424-5800 ext. 231, or Kate Morse, Copper River Watershed Project, (907)424-3334,

Copper Basin & Valdez: Robin Mayo, Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, 822-3575,


“The rivers that run through our watershed are important to all of us.  I learned how fragile the balance of it all can be, and what people in our region are doing to keep it in good shape.  I also learned that teamwork is essential.  It would have been impossible to do all of this without the help of many different people, and we all learned to work well together.”

“The first is that the watershed is fragile, and a special thing that should be watched over and protected.  If we protect the watershed, then that also is better for the environment, especially salmon that a lot of people depend on for food and money.”


“I got to know a lot of new people on this trip, and it made me much more open minded.  I know that I will do everything I can to take care of this watershed in the future, and encourage other people to do the same.”

“Right now I think the I have made a couple changes to my daily life.  And maybe in the future if I choose to work for ADF&G, managing the salmon would be a career that I would consider, having not considered it before.  And also I never knew that the people living around the upper Copper River depend on the fish more for food.  That would certainly make my decisions different to provide more people with food.”

Student projects and movies from past expeditions:

Experience the day-to-day adventures of the Copper River Stewardship Program through the video logs and other past projects like the 2022 StoryMap created by participants.  Click on the title of the movie to view the short film on YouTube. 

2022 Copper River Stewardship Program: During the 2022 program participants rafted the Gulkana River and sailed across Prince William Sound.

2018 Copper River Stewardship Program: During the 2018 program participants sailed across Prince William Sound and played in the mud on the Copper River delta.

2017 Copper River Stewardship Program: Participants explored (and played) on the Copper River delta and rafted on the Gulkana River.

2015 Copper River Stewardship Program:  Always Return was created by participants in the 2015 Copper River Stewardship Program. Creative writing pieces written and recorded by participants accompany photographs and videos of their journey, capturing their lessons learned, adventures and humor.

Bonus project: 2015 Steward Josi Moffitt created a fun cartoon to accompany the Story in the Round written by all participants over the course of the trip.

We All Live Downstream: During the 2014 program participants worked with Alaska Teen Media Institute to prepare for the collection of audio and visual materials over the course of their adventure. Along their journey they interviewed people from a wide range of perspectives and they reflected on their experience. Steward Amanda Friendshuh put in long hours after the adventure to compile this special piece…

Going to Extremes: This movie was created by participants in the 2013 Copper River Stewardship Program, integrating creative writing and media they collected over the course of their adventure.

Tazlina River Adventure:  In 2012 participants had the opportunity to learn about aquatic ecology while canoeing on Lake Louise and rafting the Tazlina River.

Journey Through the Watershed:  In 2011 participants explored Kennecott Copper Mines, assessed fish habitat on McCarthy Road, camped and hiked on the Chugach National Forest, and canoed through the Copper River Delta.

Gulkana River Days:  A film created by participants on the 2010 CRSP who rafted the Gulkana River.