Thanks to funding from the California Coastal Commission through its Whale Tail grants program, corpsmembers have the amazing opportunity to participate in educational, stewardship, and outdoor education and recreation experiences to learn about the connection between fire-shed, watershed, and ocean health. The project includes an educational workshop, two days of stewardship that enhances upstream salmon habitat, and an educational and recreation day kayaking at the mouth of the Russian River.

CCNB’s first cohort for the program participated in workshops and hands-on learning through vegetation management and habitat restoration projects with the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, using the fire fuels they removed to enhance salmon spawning habitat. Corpsmembers then got to observe the importance of their work firsthand through a field trip to the Dutch Bill Creek down to the mouth of the Russian River at the Pacific Ocean, where they kayaked at the Russian River State Marine Recreational Management Area. Corpsmembers learned how their stewardship work is a part of the wider efforts to restore a viable, self-sustaining population of coho salmon and steelhead trout in the Russian River watershed, from summit to sea.