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Ronan's report

Wednesday 28th October, 2009

I'm excited because tomorrow is my first Salmon Watch trip of 2009.

Sponsored by the Freshwater Trust, Salmon Watch is an environmental education program serving middle and high school students in Oregon. Along with teachers from local schools, volunteers like me lead field trips to local salmon streams, enabling students to witness spawning salmon, one of nature's great spectacles. The field trip is coupled with classroom instruction and service learning projects, and the program is designed to instill a deeper appreciation and understanding of the value of native wild fish, watershed conservation and environmental stewardship.

Each field trip includes four different learning experiences/stations - Water Quality Monitoring, Macroinvertebrate Sampling, Riparian Ecosystem Nature Hike, and Spawning Salmon Observation.

It's a great experience for everyone, and I always make sure to tell the students what I do for a real job, and that they can help protect and restore rivers and riparian areas through their everyday actions and/or as a career.

I lead the Riparian Ecosystem Nature Hike looking for evidence of interactions between the river, riparian zone, and the creatures that inhabit those areas, and teach an interactive session that centers on the following questions. Do you know the answers? Take it to The Daily Planet! I'll check in after a while and see how you are doing.

What is the Riparian Zone/Riparian Ecosystem?

Why are riparian zones important to the river, water, salmon, and other creatures?

What are some indicators/components of a healthy riparian ecosystem?

Why are salmon important to the riparian areas of the Pacific Northwest?

What are some ways that people hurt/damage riparian areas/ecosystems?

Are there ways to live happily without harming riparian areas?

Fish On,

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