Crystal Nettles, Sr. Communications Specialist, OCWD

The Orange County Water District’s (OCWD) award-winning Children’s Water Education Festival is back this year with a new look and a new name.

The Orange County Youth Environmental Summit (YES) will be held virtually on Monday, April 19 through Friday, April 23. The mission of YES is to educate students about water-related and environmental issues that support next generation science standards. Through a series of interactive and immersive live presentations, on demand videos and grab-and-go activities provided by well-known and respected experts and organizations, students will learn about a variety of environmental subjects. More than 6,500 third, fourth and fifth grade Orange County students are registered to attend this year’s event, which fittingly takes place over Earth Week.

Created by former OCWD Director Philip L. Anthony in 1997 as a means to educate Orange County students about their water supply, YES has blossomed into a nationally recognized environmental education event featuring renowned speakers and organizations. YES teaches youth that they can make a difference in protecting our resources today, tomorrow and for future generations. The event would not be possible without the wonderful support of dozens of presenting organizations and sponsors. Because of their partnership, YES continues to expand its reach and impact year after year. Since its inception, more than 135,000 students have experienced YES and all it has to offer.

Pivoting YES to a virtual format is just one of the ways OCWD has reimagined its community outreach and education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The District connects with stakeholders in multiple ways, including virtual tours of its Groundwater Replenishment System, a virtual speakers bureau, monthly webinars, and increased social media engagement. To learn more about the Youth Environmental Summit, please visit To learn more about the Orange County Water District, please visit