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A speech competition hosted by the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) recently brought together four students from across the state. Each year, "Speak-Off" invites students from all 96 Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) to speak about environmental issues and conservation. Winners of the local and regional competitions advance to CARCD's annual conference for the state competition. This year’s prompt was groundwater recharge and how RCDs can assist with projects at a local level. 

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Avery Chang, a sophomore from Chino Hills High School, was among the four students who qualified for the state competition. She entered the competition through the IERCD, which serves nearly 1,300 square miles of land across San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, including the City of Chino Hills. Ms. Chang’s five-minute speech focused on how RCDs can collaborate with farmers to implement sustainable practices that would benefit groundwater recharge. She urged RCDs to bridge the gap between fellow government agencies and the community by providing public education focused on water conservation, encouraging landowners to divert water to aquifer systems, and promoting development of water treatment facilities. She concluded her speech by emphasizing the importance of collaboration between all stakeholders to ensure the success of sustainability initiatives. Ultimately, the judges were swayed and Ms. Chang won first place!


This year's prompt was: 

"California climate is changing, and groundwater recharge will be important to ensure water for future generations. Are there other natural resource benefits to groundwater recharge projects and how can RCDs help? What local or regional examples can you point to and how have these examples helped your community?"