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Voluntourism Spotlight: Improve California’s Water with the Earthwatch Institute

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The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of California. Image Credit: Matthew Trump

You’ve spent the summer out on the beach and in the water, so with fall approaching it’s time to think about giving back to our coastline and waterways. We’ve already told you how to Adopt-a-Beach with the Alliance for the Great Lakes. For this week’s Voluntourism Spotlight, together with GoVoluntouring, we’re looking at the Earthwatch Institute’s efforts to restore several rivers in the California Delta region. Check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio on Saturday for more information.

When you think of California, it’s most likely beach towns or big cities, but there is more to the state in terms of natural resources. Just 30 minutes outside Sacramento is the Cosumnes River Preserve. This area is the entrance to the California Delta Region, where a diverse range of birds, wildlife and plant life exist.

This October, the Earthwatch Institute has put together two 3-day trips to the delta, where volunteers work along scientists and local government officials to restore and safeguard California’s rivers and the habitat around them.

Volunteers are specifically looking to see how this part of the state’s ecosystem is responding to riparian and floodplain restoration efforts. With research as the focus, volunteers work to identify vegetation, measure trees, set up transects,  identify and capture butterflies and bees, and collect other important data about nature’s services. The end game of the research is to illustrate the relevance of freshwater systems to our daily lives.

The program runs for three days and the fee ($795) includes a hotel stay at the Hallmark Inn in Davis and all meals. For more information or to look into other programs visit the Earthwatch Institute online.

By Lily J. Kosner for