One of the primary objectives of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is to provide high quality environmental education to an interested audience. Our dynamic Environmental Education program offers free half-day or full-day educator-led field trips. Teachers, outdoor education leaders, adult leaders, and students are actively involved in exploring the diverse habitats of the Refuge. Students participate in a variety of hands-on activities that are designed to teach ecological concepts that focus on the Refuge’s resource management issues such as habitat preservation, endangered species, and migratory birds. Integrating science, art, history, math, language arts, and physical education, the activities are adaptable to students of all grade levels.
Environmental education is usually conducted at the Refuge Headquarters. There is a one-mile trail that weaves through upland vegetation, freshwater ponds and agricultural fields, ending 150 feet above the surface of the Salton Sea. During field trips, students learn why the Salton Sea is important to the surrounding ecosystems and to the millions of migratory birds that travel through the area each year. Over 400 species of birds have been reported at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, including a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds. In addition, the Refuge provides a home for several endangered species including the Yuma clapper rail and the California brown pelican.