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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Ventura River Watershed, Ventura, California, USA

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Ventura River Watershed, Ventura, California, USA


Registered: August 2013
City/Town/Province: Ventura
Posts: 1
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Running with my cross country team past the last remaining natural watershed in the State of California, the Ventura River, I saw immense potential. But, action needed to be taken to reclaim this natural space from a lack of care and public attention. I joined other volunteers in cleaning up our coast and became part of the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy in order to promote our natural treasures as recreational resources to be preserved and respected by all. We completed the first major step in a continuing process by clearing the river bottom of both the non-native invasive arundo and waste products. In conjunction with the Coastal Cleanup Commission, miles of coastal beachfront were scoured for unnatural waste items and anything that would inhibit its use as a recreational community asset.
As described by the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, "There is an abundance of opportunities within the Conservancy’s interest area to protect and restore hillsides, riparian areas, and expand public access to open space and recreational areas. In response, the steady growth of the Conservancy’s capacity and its solid credibility has now enabled it to consider larger efforts in acquisition, stewardship, and community engagement.
Today’s youth have less exposure to nature than in prior generations, but when given the opportunity to experience natural areas in the region, their enthusiasm and volunteerism have been sparked. The current economy has created a greater focus on job creation within the community coupled with behavioral changes founded on a greater awareness of sustainable lifestyles including more bike riding, less use of plastic, and a greater appreciation for local and organic agriculture. These trends support the ecological sustainability principles that the Conservancy promotes.
Tourism will remain a bedrock economic driver of our community. Increasing the ability of visitors to rent bikes, hike local trails, access scenic view points, and learn more about the area ecology is part of a new wave of “place&#8208;based” tourism that relies on sharing the unique attributes of our central coast landscape, seascape, and lifestyle. Acquire a high visibility property for quality public recreational access while continuing to acquire parcels that contribute to the ecological health of the region."
Elsewhere in my town, I have worked to help expand public awareness of our mission in an informational booth at the local farmers' market. I experienced my fellow citizens selling multitudes of local goods, arts, and crafts. Not only did this market atmosphere facilitate citizen interaction and neighborhood unity, but it added value both in financial terms and human benefit.
I was thoroughly inspired by my experiences which instilled in me the necessity for smart urban planning and growth. It is fundamentally necessary that cities are built to a density that is conducive to sufficient neighborhood interaction and allowance for green and open space, while still providing enough geographical room for agricultural farming.
Date: August 2, 2013 Views: 3955 File size: 22.5kb : 320 x 213
Hours Volunteered: 20000
Volunteers: 200
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 2 to 70
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 3.5
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 90718.5 kg
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