Saving species through collaborative restoration and youth education
The Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for the Contra Costa Wallflower, the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, and the Lange's Metalmark Butterfly, all highly endangered species. The ecological health of the area is at risk from high levels of nitrogen deposition caused by nearby power plants. Over time, nitrogen deposition at ADNWR harms these species, and may cause them to go extinct. Laura will engage local high school students in restoration activities during the spring and summer of 2014. The spring program, open to up to 60 students, includes two field days and an educational seminar. The summer program is an internship with the U.S. Wildlife Service for select participants who excel in the spring program. Students in the summer program will learn restoration job skills and scientific measurement and sampling skills in collaboration with previous Toyota TogetherGreen Fellows. Summer participants will be awarded a stipend and certificate of completion and will have an opportunity to present their work at a final community event. This project will not only engage and educate young people in local conservation efforts but also will provide much needed support to ADNWR staff.