Film Screening this Friday
Memory of a Fish
This Friday, April 7th, the Salmon Coalition is co-sponsoring a screening at Peninsula College of the film
Memory of a Fish
- a documentary portrait of fisherman and activist, Dick Goin, and his fight for the freedom of the Elwha River. Come view this award winning film and stop by the NOSC table to say hi! We will be there at 6pm, as well as after the film.
Click here for more information.
Students Get a Glimpse of Real World Restoration
Clallam Bay Middle School Plants the Hoko River
A wall of elk greeted the Salmon Coalition staff and volunteers last Tuesday when they arrived at the Hoko River with the Clallam Bay Middle School Science class to plant trees. The class had been to the site once before, measuring their experimental plots and taking data of the existing layout. Back in the classroom, students created scale maps of their plots and used a planting calculator to determine which species should be planted where. Their goal? To re-vegetate this natural floodplain that is currently under threat by the choking invasive reed cannarygrass and herbivory by elk, which the students saw firsthand.
This program, Real Learning Real Work, took place at two schools this year - Blue Heron Middle School in Port Townsend and Clallam Bay Middle School - thanks to funding awarded by WA Field STEM and private donors. Both programs are nearly at a close with just one more event for Blue Heron as students return to their site at the Snow Creek Estuary on April 14th. They'll be putting blue tubes on their newly planted trees, removing invasive scotch broom, and mulching in an attempt to improve water retention over the dry summer season in the salty soil here. Across these programs, students learned real world restoration skills used by professionals in the field through learning in the classroom followed by implementation on actual restoration sites. Students learned that it isn't always easy restoring the land and there are often no clear right or wrong answers. We met complications head on and utilized adaptive management when needed. As the program draws to a close for another year, middle schoolers are going home with a renewed sense of how fragile and yet resilient our river ecosystems are.
Chimacum 6th Grade Relates Climate to Everyday Life
The Chimacum 6th grade science class also got outside last week, at our native plant nursery at Finnriver Farm for a day of learning about our climate: what it is and what sorts of things affect it. This program was made possible by funding awarded by the Jefferson County Community Foundation. Students walked along Chimacum creek, sketching what a healthy riparian zone might look light. They calculated how much carbon a single apple tree at Finnriver Orchard had sequestered and compared this to how much carbon dioxide their cars produce every day. They potted plants that will grow in our nursery throughout the year until returning to plant them as part of a restoration plan along that same stretch of Chimacum creek. In all, we had 60 students, 13 volunteers, 3 teachers and 3 Salmon Coalition staff members out at Finnriver Farm learning about climate, farms, rivers and the best management practices that allow these driving factors to coincide.
Interested in volunteering with Salmon Coalition?
There are two more education events upcoming with Salmon Coalition before the season ends, bringing in opportunities for potting, nursery work parties, a late season planting or two and other maintenance installations. We are also in need of someone with a strong background in economics or finances to aid in some short writings about the ways in which salmon recovery projects have positively attributed to the economic vitality here on the peninsula. If you are interested in hearing more about these opportunities, e-mail Olivia at email@example.com with your interest and availability. You can also c
heck out our online calendar
for more information.
Olympic Climate Action Presents:
A Celebration of Science
Learn about what scientists are doing everyday here on the Olympic Peninsula at Olympic Climate Action's Celebration of Science on Saturday, April 22nd at the Port Angeles City Pier and Feiro Marine Life Center. We'll have a booth setup from noon to 4pm, as well as a presentation in the Landing Mall 2nd Floor Conference Room. Wear your Salmon Coalition hats and hoodies, and stop by to say hello! The time of the presentation is currently to be determined. Updates will be announced on our website closer to the event date.
Click here for more information.
Earth Day Celebration with Wild Birds Unlimited
The day after Earth Day, Sunday, April 23rd, Wild Birds Unlimited is hosting a celebration featuring the Northwest Raptor Center and other local organizations working to protect our natural habitats. We'll have a table setup at 10 am and would love to see your smiling faces. This event is hoping to raise donations for the Northwest Raptor Center. Currently, the Center is in need of the following items:
Towels, sheets, new or gently used wool blankets, paper towels, Kleenex, potty pads (human or puppy), laundry baskets, heating pads, small dishes like crocks or ashtrays, Exact Baby Bird food, meal worms, dog or cat food (wet or dry), vet wrap, clothes pins, bleach, dawn dish soap, hair dryers, play pens, as well as
straw, alfalfa, bird seed, powered goat milk & KMR.
Click here for more info.
Celebrating Gabriel E. Ornelas
Join us in celebrating one of our most dedicated and beloved volunters, Gabe Orenlas. A memorial will occur on May 13th, at 4:00 pm, at the NW Maritime Center in Port Townsend. For inquiries, send e-mail to
Volunteer Spotlight: Julianne Dirks
WA Conservation Corps Member
How did you first hear about the Salmon Coalition? Why did you decide to volunteer?
I am an AmeriCorps and WA Conservation Corps member for state and national parks based out of Port Townsend. A member of the NOSC WCC crew, Celeste Roe, told me about the salmon spawner surveys NOSC does every fall. I was interested in the surveys and have continued volunteering ever since. I love outreach and education, and I think it is important for scientists to conduct valid outreach. Research becomes mute and irrelevant if the science is not relatable to the public.
You have a background in wildlife conservation. What sorts of work have you done in this field?
Yes, I worked with Soundwatch, a boater education program through the Whale Museum out of Friday Harbor. I helped conduct whale behavior surveys in relation to how many boats were in the water during surveys. That data was given to NOAA and WDFW. I also worked with OSU in the tri-cities area surveying sea bird populations and how their populations affect juvenile salmon in the Columbia River. I counted and estimated colonies, re-sighted birds, and helped count fish predation and chick populations among Caspian Terns. This research is gathered to quantify the affect birds have on salmon populations versus dams.
What first got you interested in working with environmental conservation?
I always wanted to be in the marine sciences. When I discovered what a dolphin was in the 4th grade, I became obsessed and determined to study them. My stubbornness allowed me to power through years of people's doubts about the field. My career goals really evolved when I took Conservation Biology my senior year at university. I loved learning how complex conservation issues could become with outreach, research, implementation, public vs private stakeholders, and enacting laws. All of this intrigued me and so my goals evolved from pure research to a more comprehensive career interest.
Do you think the education programs at NOSC entice students to become more involved in environmental issues? How so?
Not all kids will necessarily take these experiences to heart. But I think that the majority will be impacted to be more aware of how they interact with the Earth. I still remember my outdoor education experiences growing up and I wish they had been more like the programs NOSC is doing. S
ome of the students I worked with this year dove right in, fully committing to the projects which was really warming to see. Overall, it is even more important to get kids outside and learning something about their surroundings. I think NOSC is impacting these students in a very positive way.
What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Seeing marine mammals, yelling "puppies!" whenever I see a puppy, and identifying new birds are some of my favorite things. But really just smelling the fresh air is my most favorite thing.
Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Stay passionate, my friends. Once there is apathy in your life, the world becomes dull. And getting the spark back is twice as hard. Never give up on your dreams and be kind to one another.
Thank you, Julianne, for the insight and words of wisdom!
The Port Townsend WCC crew has just left for their first "spike" - a week long stint in the wilderness working on conservation issues within National Parks. Good luck on their first of many!
If you have questions or comments about anything in our newsletter, please don't hesitate to contact us.