Environmental educators at the South Yuba River Citizens League just finished up another season of Salmon Expedition field trips on the Lower Yuba. These trips take students to see spawning wild Chinook Salmon, learn about the history of our watershed and the Nisenan people within it, and visit Lower Long Bar restoration site. This program has been running for seventeen years and this year was our largest one yet! The Expedition season runs from early October to Mid-November, when we can expect to see Spring and Fall run Chinook, with trips going out five days a week. This year SYRCL educators taught, investigated alongside, and spotted salmon on the Yuba with more than 2,000 students, teachers, chaperones and community members.
Each summer SYRCL partners with the Earthwatch Institute and Tahoe National Forest (TNF) to host a field science expedition for high school juniors and seniors interested in STEAM careers. This year’s first session was completed in the last week of June and focused on Restoring Sierra Meadows: The Source of California’s Water. Six students from throughout California joined our team to assist with monitoring work in Van Norden Meadow.
One of the more recent additions to SYRCL’s education outreach has been the Water Quality Monitoring Program. Each Spring, SYRCL and Tahoe National Forest offer “Creating River Stewards: Monitoring Water Quality of Public Lands” for 6th through 12th grade students. This educational opportunity is funded by a National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) Forest Service Greening STEM Grant.
In this program, area High School students are trained in water quality monitoring practices that emulate SYRCL’s award winning River Monitoring Program. Students collect water quality data, analyze and interpret the data they collect, and then use what they learned to teach others in their community about how they can be better stewards of the watershed.
On Wednesday, April 26, SYRCL hosted the annual State of the Yuba event where, Owen Papegaay, a graduating senior from Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning (SAEL), was he was awarded the scholarship. Owen plans to pursue a degree in Marie Biology from Cal State Monterey Bay in the fall.