The month of August will feature a variety of conservation-related programs and also provide some training opportunities around the state for those interested in environmental issues.
On Thursday, Aug. 15, enjoy Evenings at the Estuary Lecture: Stories of the Southern Sea Otter, at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. The Elkhorn Slough Reserve will host a panel discussion on Sea Otters in the Monterey Bay. Panelists Michelle Staedler (Monterey Bay Aquarium), Melissa Miller (California Department of Fish and Wildlife) and Ron Eby (Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve) will share highlights from their research and conservation efforts. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. This is a free community event and preregistration is not required. For more information, contact Ariel Hunter at email@example.com.
A Grasslands Wildlife Areas-Refuges Outreach Meeting is set for Saturday, Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Grassland Environmental Education Center, 18110 W. Henry Miller Road in Los Banos. CDFW staff and federal wildlife refuge managers will take comments and recommendations and provide updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to hunter access on Type A wildlife areas that include Mendota, Los Banos, Volta, North Grasslands, the Merced National Wildlife Refuge and the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. The Grassland Water District also will make a short presentation on refuge water supply. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are planning to attend so enough seating and refreshments can be arranged.
Another popular event, Sunset Saturday, is slate for Aug. 24 at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Participants can enjoy a sunset on the Slough, with the reserve open to the public until 8 p.m. All visitors must check in at the Visitor Center before entering the trails. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. The day use permit fee is $4.12 per person, ages 16 and older (permits may be purchased on-site). For more information, contact Ariel Hunter at email@example.com.
Two days of training, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24 and 25, focus on training for school and youth program guides, at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Elkhorn Reserve will offer training for individuals interested in volunteering with school and youth groups at the reserve. The workshop will prepare volunteers to lead K-12 students in lab and field activities. Interested participants can find more information and register online at www.elkhornslough.org/events/reserve-education-volunteer-training.
Tuesday, Aug. 27 will see a program in the CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., “Drought Stressor Monitoring: Summary of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Statewide Drought Response,” presented by Kristine Atkinson. To understand the status of California’s at-risk aquatic species and habitat conditions during the historic 2012-2016 drought, CDFW responded by collecting information on stream temperature and dissolved oxygen, the status and extent of habitat fragmentation, and impacts on aquatic species. Collection of this information was critical as a baseline understanding for management actions taken during and post-drought. Attendance is free. To register or learn more, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.
Rounding out the month on Wednesday, Aug. 28 there will be a Wildlife Conservation board meeting, 10 a.m., at the Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento. The public is invited to attend. For more information, visit https://wcb.ca.gov.