Students Help Save Thousands of Endangered Coho Salmon

Students Help Save Thousands of Endangered Coho Salmon

Students at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, CA, have rescued some 4,000 endangered Coho Salmon from the state’s drought.  The school has an on-campus fish hatchery that students usually use to raise steelhead trout, but last month, when conditions at nearby Lake Sonoma deteriorated, wildlife officials moved some of the state’s last remaining coho into tanks at the school.  It’s given students a chance to get hands on experience in conservation.

“These are species that are going to give you an idea as to what the long term impact of our waterways are looking like,” said Dan Hubacker, a science teacher at Casa Grande and also director of the hatchery program. “If you have a species like a coho that is sensitive to environmental change and they’re struggling, that’s ultimately telling you what is happening in your watershed.”

According to Hubacker, the hope is for the salmon to return sometime this fall to the hatchery at Lake Sonoma. Their time at Casa Grande high School is a short-term solution, but with a lot of impact.

“I would argue this serves two purposes,” Hubacker said. “One, we are able to help out with the fish, but it also allows long term, looking at these young adults being able to step in, it gives them hope for the future, too.” 
The students all agree.  Kate Carlson, a senior at Casa Grande High School, says many of them now hope to continue conservation work in their future.  “Seeing we can really make a difference, it’s amazing,” Kate said. “It’s going to stay with us for the rest of our lives. 

To learn more about Casa Grande’s conservation program and actions –

click HERE.


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Rewilding Cambodia

Rewilding Cambodia

‘Mangroves are life’: the female conservationists rewilding the Cambodian coast

By:  Gavin Haines / Positive.News


When storms whip up the waves, sending white horses charging to the shore, mangrove forests are often the first line of defence for coastal communities in the tropics.

And with the climate crisis making the weather ever more volatile, people living in these coastal communities are waking up to the benefits of mangrove forests, which also provide a habitat for fish and other marine species.

“Mangroves are life. Without mangroves, there is no biodiversity, and our fishermen will lose their income,” explains Varou Mat, a schoolteacher and mother of three from Kampot Province, southern Cambodia.

Kampot is one of the provinces worst affected by mangrove clearance in Cambodia. It and neighbouring Kep have seen their mangrove forests shrink by 62 per cent in the last 30 years, according to ActionAid. The charity is working with women in those communities and elsewhere to help them adapt to climate change.

The loss of mangrove forests, along with the unfolding climate crisis, has left coastal communities in Kampot and Kep exposed to storm surges. “The floods now last a whole week causing damage to crops and infrastructure,” explains Nget Mana, a midwife, whose parents are farmers in Kampot.

Identified as one of the countries most at risk from the climate emergency, Cambodia ranks a lowly 103rd on the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Index. Given that the climate crisis disproportionately impacts women, ActionAid decided to launch a campaign to help Cambodian women adapt.

The campaign, She Is The Answer, supports communities to become more resilient by training women to take up climate-adaptive livelihoods. The work is underpinned by research that has shown female empowerment to be one of the most effective solutions at our disposal in tackling global heating.

One of the programmes that ActionAid has launched is a mangrove rewilding project. The charity has been working with communities in Kampot to plant 100,000 mangrove saplings along the shore – a target that has already been surpassed.

As well as being keen mangrove conservationists, Mat and Mana are part of ActionAid’s burgeoning Women Champions network. It helps give Cambodian women a voice when decisions are being made at community and government level.

“Our Women Champions programme provides women in Cambodia with the training, skills and confidence they need to play a decisive part in planning the future of their communities, and of our country,” says Samphy Eng, a programme officer for ActionAid Cambodia.

The charity has trained around 50 women across the country, equipping them with climate science knowledge and supporting them to play an active role in decision-making.

As well as planting mangroves, the women have been involved in setting up a network of climate-adaptive floating gardens, as well as floating schools, where future generations are taught about climate resilience.

“Before Women Champions existed, women were afraid to speak up,” says Mat. “Now, they are brave to speak up about their problems, their needs, and what they want.”

Since receiving training from Action Aid, Mat has become a campaigner for climate issues, and is helping raise awareness about the impact global heating has on women.

“When climate change happens, women and children are most affected,” she says. “I want world leaders to pay more attention to them.”

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