Russian River Watershed Association's 2019 Water Awareness High School Video Contest

Video Contest Banner Image

Help educate the public by creating a PSA about how to prevent litter from entering our waterways.

PSA, or a public service announcement, is a publication that helps change public attitudes and behaviors by raising awareness about a social issue. You can create a newscast, skit, animation, commercial, reality television show, or even a music video. Let your imagination go wild, but please read all of the following instructions carefully!

The 2019 Video Contest tagline is: Litter to Zero, Be a Water Hero!

2019 Video Contest Flyer

Contest Information

Who May Enter?

Students in grades 9 - 12 attending high school in Sonoma, southern Mendocino, or northern Marin counties. Home school students are welcome to participate. Entries can be an individual or team effort. Max of 5 students per video and one video entry per person.

What prizes are offered?

Cash awards will be split with 50% of the prize money going to the individual(s) who submitted the video and 50% to the high school they attend. An awards presentation will be held on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019.

All 3 winning videos will be featured on local channel 22 KRCB. The first place video will be shown with the previews, in local movie theaters in Sonoma County. Approximately, 156,000 moviegoers will see the winning video. Imagine your video production on the big screen! Wow, that would look great on your résumé!

What are the video guidelines?

Your production needs to be exactly 55 seconds in length (this includes the required closing scene – see more info below).

All entries must be student-created. The entry may not contain any copyrighted material of any medium (music, images, etc.) and no professional assistance is allowed. Such use will result in an automatic disqualification.

DO NOT delete your original project file until the winners of the contest have been announced. If you place, you may be asked to make modifications to your entry.

How should I end my video?

Closing scene: This contest is sponsored by the Russian River Watershed Association. The last scene must feature:

Does my video have to be in English?

No, RRWA welcomes videos in any language, but English subtitles are much appreciated. 

Submission Deadline is: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12th, 2019

How do I submit my video?


Clearly label your video file with the last names of those submitting the video to help us quickly and easily identify your video.

Please export your entry as a single file in the highest quality. Preferred formats include: .mp4, .mpg, .wmv, or .avi.

Entries can be submitted through the following methods:

All entries must be delivered by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12th, 2019. USB drives and DVDs can be delivered to:

ATTN Kory Hebner
Sonoma Water
404 Aviation Boulevard
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

To reach the Sonoma Water front desk, please call 707-526-5370.

DO NOT delete your original project file until the winners of the contest have been announced. If you place, you may be asked to make modifications to your entry.

What about the Entry Release Form?

A completed Entry Release Form must be submitted for every contributor involved in the production of the video. This means, if you ask your younger sister to be an actress in your production, she must also submit a release form. On the release form, please select all roles that apply. Only creators and co-creators will receive prize money. If not all content is original, we are asking students to provide the source of their royalty-free images.

You may submit your form online or by mail.

1.) To submit ONLINE:

  1. Open the fillable PDF.
  2. Type in your information.
  3. Print the document.
  4. Collect signatures on the appropriate lines.
  5. Scan the form as a PDF. Only PDFs will be accepted.
  6. If you have more than one release form per video, please upload them all together.
  7. Upload your Entry Release Form

2.) To submit by MAIL:

  1. Open the fillable PDF.
  2. Type in your information.
  3. Print the document.
  4. Collect signatures on the appropriate lines.
  5. If there is more than one release form per video, please staple or clip them together.
  6. All of your release forms must be delivered by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12th, 2019 to:

     ATTN Kory Hebner
     Sonoma Water
     404 Aviation Boulevard
     Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Use this checklist to ensure you’ve included all the important criteria in your video:

Print this checklist.

How do I evaluate my sources?

Here are some questions to consider as you evaluate your sources of information:

Check out these websites to help you evaluate the authenticity of a website:

Resources for Further Information:

The following are some website resources to get you started on your research:

The following RRWA Environmental Columns provide local information about stormwater pollution prevention:

Let the following YouTube videos on stormwater pollution serve as a basis to get started. As you watch these videos, try asking yourself these questions: Who is the target audience of this PSA? What is effective about this video? What is not effective? What helps the audience understand the information? What makes the audience want to change their behaviors? What information is true for our local watershed?   

Additional Information (by Kory Hebner at Sonoma Water)

What are storm drains and why do we have them?

When it rains on natural areas, much of that water is absorbed by the ground. The rest is either taken up by plants, evaporates, or it flows downhill into a creek or river.

In a more developed setting, rain falls onto pavement and other non-permeable surfaces such as roofs, sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways. These surfaces do not allow the water to be absorbed into the ground. To prevent flooding, storm drains were developed to drain away excess rain water, hence the name storm drain.

Who cleans stormwater?

The water that you see flowing over impermeable surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets is called stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff is directed into the nearest creek or river to prevent flooding. Unfortunately, stormwater runoff picks up many pollutants from residential and commercial sources. In most cases in the United States, stormwater runoff is not treated or filtered. In Sonoma County, no one cleans stormwater. Anything that enters our storm drain system remains untreated and is discharged directly into our local waterways.

What is a sewer system?

A sewer system is designed to transport wastewater to a treatment facility to be cleaned. Water that has been used to take a shower, flush the toilet, wash dishes, or do laundry is considered wastewater. Wastewater must be treated before it can be discharged into local waterways or reused for irrigation.

Who is affected?

Polluted water entering our waterways damages the ecosystem. When our waterways become polluted, plants, fish, aquatic insects, birds, and other animals suffer. Ultimately, humans also suffer. Quality of water directly affects quality of life!

How to prevent litter from entering our waterways?

Easy! Street litter such as styrofoam, plastic, and paper can be prevented from blowing into storm drain inlets by keeping trash bins covered and by not littering. Take care to make sure waste is recycled whenever possible.

Remember, only rain should go down the storm drain!

For More Information

If you have questions about this video contest, please contact Kory Hebner at 707-521-6204 or

RRWA-LOGO.jpgAbout the Russian River Watershed Association

The Russian River Watershed Association is a coalition of eleven cities, counties, and special districts in the Russian River Watershed that have come together to coordinate regional programs for clean water, fisheries restoration, and watershed enhancement. The Russian River Watershed Association includes the cities of Cloverdale, Cotati, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Ukiah; the Town of Windsor; the County of Mendocino, the County of Sonoma; and Sonoma Water.