Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) established the WATER Institute (Watershed Advocacy, Training, Education, & Research) to promote understanding of the importance of healthy watersheds to healthy communities. Building upon OAEC’s many years of work to protect Coastal California’s watersheds, the WATER Institute promotes a vision of restoring and protecting all watersheds, or "Basins of Relations," utilizing a framework of regenerative water-use practices known as Conservation Hydrology through the following programs:
Watershed - The WATER Insititute considers watersheds to be Basins of Relations, a term that highlights the inter-relatedness of all relations within their shared basin.
Advocacy - The WATER Institute advocates on behalf of our Basins of Relations by participating in democratic decision making to determine land-use policy that supports healthy watersheds.
Training - The WATER Institute offers strategic training opportunites to people interested in starting and sustaining community-based watershed councils.
Education - The WATER Institute offers lectures, tours and workshops that nurture community watershed literacy and restoration.
Research - The WATER Institute participates in studies that help communities better understand the impacts of land-use practices on water quality and quantity and how to change these practices to ensure water security for all Basins of Relations.