Watershed education program completes successful restoration season

NOVATO, CA, April 6, 2010 -- The Bay Institute today released the milestone-setting 2009/2010 results of its flagship place-based education program, STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed)...

NOVATO, CA, April 6, 2010 -- The Bay Institute today released the milestone-setting 2009/2010 results of its flagship place-based education program, STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed). While the student-focused restorations are wrapped up for the school year, opportunities are still available to support STRAW by attending screenings of its award-winning documentary, or through participating in restoration-focused summer volunteering.

During the 2009/2010 restoration season, which runs from September through mid-March, more than 2,800 students, 400 parents and 90 teachers from 36 schools completed restoration work on streams, tributaries and wetlands in Marin, Sonoma, Solano, and Napa counties. Students planted over 3,000 native plants, including many species of trees, shrubs, grasses, sedges and rushes. In a case of "in with the good, out with the bad," approximately 23 cubic yards -- or 12 pickup truckloads -- of invasive species were also removed. Most notably, the season also marked the 100,000th linear foot of restoration planted along Stemple Creek. Over the past 18 years, the STRAW program has led more than 300 North Bay restorations.

Sharing the success of STRAW with audiences throughout California and beyond is the award-winning documentary A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW, produced and directed by Kevin White and David Donnenfield of Filmmakers Collaborative SF. The documentary received the "Spirit of Activism Award" earlier this year at the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, and will be shown during a benefit screening on Thursday, May 13, at Rialto Cinemas in Santa Rosa. A trailer of the film and additional information on the screening event can be found at www.bay.org.

Curing the summertime blues with outdoor volunteer opportunities, the STRAW project is also currently seeking support for summer plant establishment projects, taking place on weekdays in urban parks and private ranches in Marin and Sonoma counties. Interested volunteers should e-mail Stephanie Nelson at nelson@bay.org for additional details.

About The Bay Institute
The Bay Institute is the leader in protecting, restoring and inspiring conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed -- from the Sierra to the sea. For nearly 30 years, The Bay Institute has been developing and leading model scientific research, habitat restoration, education and advocacy programs to preserve California's most important natural resource. Learn more at www.bay.org.

###

More in Environmental