Field Notes from Stan Harris
In June 2008, the California Coastal Conservancy approved RRAS's acceptance of an open space easement over Parcel 4. Parcel 4 – an abandoned mill site next to Humboldt Bay behind Bayshore Mall – is a vital link for the Eureka Waterfront Trail now under development. RRAS did not accept the open space easement over City of Eureka property merely to stop development, but rather views the land as having high potential aesthetic, recreational, educational, and public health value.
In 2009, RRAS was one of four California Audubon Chapters to receive funding from Toyota's Together Green Pennies for the Planet Program (via NAS) and the Morrissey Family Foundation (via Audubon California) for the Share the Shore with Snowy Plovers campaign. This was a children's art sign project to promote coastal dune habitat protection, with an emphasis on plover recovery. RRAS partnered with Friends of the Dunes (FOD) to sponsor an art contest for 3rd- and 4th-graders. Some 140 eligible entries from seven Humboldt County schools were received. Winner entries have been made into signs to be posted at plover nesting beaches in spring 2011.
Preserving Snowy Plover Habitat
In 2010, RRAS also received a grant from Audubon California's Endowment for State Parks, a program to strengthen ties between Audubon and California State Parks, especially in parks within Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and for projects involving Audubon Watchlist species. RRAS teamed up with the State Parks North Coast Redwoods District on a proposal to restore Snowy Plovers (a Watchlist species) as a breeding species at Humboldt Lagoons State Park (part of Humboldt Lagoons IBA). The money was used to erect and monitor symbolic fencing at Big Lagoon, place plover decoys within the fenced area, remove iceplant, and fund docent patrols to educate the public about park regulations (particularly dog restrictions) through a partnership with FOD.
Volunteer Recruitment/Invasive Plant Removal
In 2011, RRAS received a Toyota Together Green Grant to recruit up to 50 new volunteers for two invasive plant removal work days. The first was held at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary in July 2012, in partnership with Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM). Forty people worked to remove non-native plants from a newly created salt marsh. The second event occurred in September 2012 as part of National Public Lands Day. RRAS teamed with BLM’s Arcata office, the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust, and many other organizations to bash English ivy and pampas grass at Luffenholtz County Park. The park lies within the California Coastal National Monument.