SALINAS VALLEY — Migrant students from Gonzales, Soledad, Greenfield and King City high schools recently participated in a three-day adventure in citizen science through the Watershed Guardians project, sponsored by the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.
The Watershed Guardians Project offers students a unique opportunity to explore some of Monterey County’s special natural wonders in a meaningful and empowering way by building connections and introducing them to environmental science and stewardship.
Among the 34 students who participated, approximately 50% were newcomers to the United States and only a handful of them had ever had the opportunity to visit the coast prior to this program.
The high schools’ participation in the program was supported by a grant that paid for the three days of transportation.
On day one, students attended a workshop at the museum, where they learned about the Carmel River watershed, the human activities that impact water quality and how to conduct a series of water quality tests to determine whether the conditions in the Carmel River could support the endangered Steelhead Trout that live and spawn there. After the workshop, students had the opportunity to explore the museum and the tide pools at Lovers Point.
On day two, students ventured to Garland Ranch Regional Park to perform water quality tests and take a short hike.
On the final day, students visited Carmel River Beach, where the Carmel River meets the ocean, and students were able to perform the same tests and compare results. After the work was completed, students enjoyed playing in the lagoon and being chased by the waves.