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ARCATA FWO: Connecting People With Nature - Exploring a Coastal Lagoon
California-Nevada Offices , September 2, 2009
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7th grade students are instructed in paddling technique prior to kayaking.  Photo 09-02-2009 by Greg Goldsmith.
7th grade students are instructed in paddling technique prior to kayaking. Photo 09-02-2009 by Greg Goldsmith. - Photo Credit: n/a
Students launching kayaks.  The group paddled approximately 3 miles round trip to see a cormorant rookery, shorebirds, and the inlet creek.  Photo 09-02-2009 by Greg Goldsmith
Students launching kayaks. The group paddled approximately 3 miles round trip to see a cormorant rookery, shorebirds, and the inlet creek. Photo 09-02-2009 by Greg Goldsmith - Photo Credit: n/a
Seining for the endangered tidewater goby in Big Lagoon.  Photo 09-02-2009 by Carlotta Clark.
Seining for the endangered tidewater goby in Big Lagoon. Photo 09-02-2009 by Carlotta Clark. - Photo Credit: n/a
Students examine the endangered tidewater goby.  Photo 09-02-2009 by Carlotta Clark.
Students examine the endangered tidewater goby. Photo 09-02-2009 by Carlotta Clark. - Photo Credit: n/a

by Greg Goldsmith, Arcata FWO
On September 3, Fish and Wildlife Biologist Greg Goldsmith from the Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office conducted a Connecting People with Nature Project on Big Lagoon in Humboldt County, California with 23 seventh grade students from Coastal Grove Charter School in Arcata. The students were exposed to a variety of hands-on educational events as a way to explore the wildlife and learn about the ecosystem processes at work in this large coastal brackish water lagoon.

Students were introduced to kayaking, and were led on a guided 2.5 hour kayak tour of the lagoon, led by staff from a local kayaking company. This was followed up with a lecture from Harriet Hill from the Humboldt County Health Department regarding awareness of toxic blue-green algae blooms. Next, Greg Goldsmith conducted a sample of survey methods used to monitor the Federally endangered tidewater goby in Big Lagoon, and students were able to see a tidewater goby, as well as other fish species common in the lagoon. Along with the fisheries demonstration, Greg spoke about invasive species, and demonstrated the presence of the invasive New Zealand mud snail in the lagoon. Finally, the students, who had previously been given a lecture on marine debris and had dissected Laysan albatross boluses, conducted a marine debris cleanup on the Big Lagoon spit.

This trip was a huge success due to the Service contribution in the form of kayaking rentals, instruction, and guiding.  Thanks to KayakZaks, Humboldt County Parks, and Humboldt County Department of Health.


Contact Info: Greg Goldsmith, 707-825-5120, greg_goldsmith@fws.gov



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