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VENTURA FWO: Service's Conservation Role on Display at Morro Bay Harbor Festival
California-Nevada Offices , October 4, 2009
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From left: Heather Abbey and Jane Touth at the Ventura FWS booth at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival.
Photo credit: Kim Craig
From left: Heather Abbey and Jane Touth at the Ventura FWS booth at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival. Photo credit: Kim Craig - Photo Credit: n/a
Morro Rock as seen from the T-pier at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival.
Photo credit: Jane Touth, Ventura FWO
Morro Rock as seen from the T-pier at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival. Photo credit: Jane Touth, Ventura FWO - Photo Credit: n/a
Brown pelicans float in the waters not far from the FWS booth at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival.
Photo credit: Jane Touth, Ventura FWO
Brown pelicans float in the waters not far from the FWS booth at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival. Photo credit: Jane Touth, Ventura FWO - Photo Credit: n/a

by Heather Abbey, Ventura FWO
Staff from the Service’s Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office were among several government and non-profit agencies providing outreach and education opportunities to an estimated 25,000 visitors to the Morro Bay Harbor Festival, October 3-4, 2009 at Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County.

 

Ventura FWO employees Heather Abbey, Kim Craig, Chris Kofron, and Jane Touth staffed a Fish and Wildlife Service outreach booth during the two day festival, greeting people and talking about the Service’s work and local trust resources.  The Service display included a sea otter pelt; bird identification books; interactive quizzes and family-friendly activities. Staff answered questions and provided information about local federally listed species, The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and associated grants, our Connecting People with Nature Program (including partnerships with Project Budburst and our Schoolyard Habitats Program), careers with the Service, and much more. 

 

Children and adults were quizzed about local federally listed species and conservation challenges for a chance to win a copy of the nationally acclaimed book,  Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv.  The harbor setting allowed for unexpected visits from several harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), federally threatened southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), and the recently delisted brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis). 

 

Several people talked of how much they had been enjoying recent PBS series on “National Parks:  America’s Best Idea” with their family, again reaffirming that people really do want to reconnect with nature and care about conservation of our nation’s resources.  The Harbor Festival brings together a diverse group of individuals, from the local farmers, fisherman, locals and non-locals, working-class families, and retired folk.  Overall, the event was a great success and we hope to return again next year.

 

Other organizations involved in outreach at the event included the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California State Parks, Morro Bay Natural History Museum, Pacific Wildlife Care, Friends of the Elephant Seals, and the Morro Bay National Estuary Program.

 

The Morro Bay Harbor Festival brings together a cross-section of the community to celebrate Morro Bay’s Harbor, coastal lifestyles and livelihoods, environment and maritime heritage through a family-oriented, intergenerational event that promotes off-season tourism throughout the Central Coast and contributes significant funds to a diversity of San Luis Obispo County nonprofit organizations. The Morro Bay Harbor Festival Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 community-benefit organization. Since 1987, the Festival Volunteer Program has awarded more than $390,000 to participating nonprofit groups.

 

 

 


Contact Info: Heather Abbey, 805-644-1766 x290, heather_abbey@fws.gov



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