Written by Molly Ancel, CalTrout Outreach & Education Coordinator
Last week, in the midst of CalTrout's big office move, I saved a set of CalTrout materials from their destiny of being tightly packed away. On Saturday, with those materials in tow, I set out on the beautiful drive down down to Santa Cruz, CA.
CalTrout had been invited to attend the Seymour Marine Discovery Center and UCSC's Fisheries Collaborative Program's first-ever World Fish Migration Day Festival. This fun day acted as the capstone to a week-long collection of events known as Salmon Week, intended to teach folks about salmon in their communities and what actions they can take to support them.
Although I've been to Santa Cruz many times, I'd never been to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, where this event was hosted. I was delighted when I pulled my car up to the address, as Seymour Center sits on a short bluff overlooking the Pacific where folks will often gather to spot migrating whales. As you walk up to the Center, huge whale skeletons greet you, and sand crunches underneath your shoes in the netted parking lot.
Inside is a mid-sized aquarium with a number of interactive, educational, and plain wondrous exhibits with native sea life.
Local fish organizations (including us!) from the Central Coast and Bay Area were in attendance with material to share on their initiatives and work. It was warm and inspiring to get the chance to connect with organizations that are both new to us, and with organizations we have long-held connections with whose work continues to overlap with our own. We're excited to continue deepening and making new partnerships for action on the Central Coast, and are truly inspired by the desire to work for fish, water, and people in this region.
About 200 folks from the public attended the event with lots of families and students in attendance. I had conversations ranging from defining what an anadromous fish is with little ones, to referring job age young people to entry points into careers in conservation with lots of conversation on our current projects and potential new collaborations in between. The best part about it all - it didn't even get windy until the end of the event.