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Salmon Watch programming was originally conceived in 1993 and has exposed over 60,000 schoolchildren in Oregon to the wonderful world of Pacific Salmon! Partnerships between SWCDs, Watershed Councils, and nonprofit groups like Freshwaters Illustrated and the World Salmon Council have led to the awesome experiential education that inspires the next generation of conservation champions. Marion SWCD has been coordinating Salmon Watch since 2009. In 2020, the Coronavirus Pandemic curtailed in-person school and along with that went field trips – including the Salmon Watch trips.
The many organizations that coordinate Salmon Watch trips across the state were all wondering how to offer Salmon Watch virtually for the fall of 2020. Fortunately, World Salmon Council’s staff spearheaded a conversation that led to an opportunity to take Salmon Watch virtual until in-person school could resume. Freshwaters Illustrated, a very talented team, was joining forces with us (WSC, Marion SWCD, Watershed Councils, ODFW). Thank goodness for partnerships!
The agreements and discussions in this large partnership reflect the priorities of our agencies. We strive to connect youth and adults to the amazing natural resources that feed life at every level. These connections allow for respect to develop and it is all of our hopes that as a consequence action is taken to steward the resources with care.
Salmon Watch Streaming is a series of short videos highlighting the educational station content of Salmon Watch field trips. The videos feature students and volunteer educators who discuss riparian habitat, macroinvertebrates, water quality, and salmon biology. The site also includes vocabulary lists, quizlets, kahoots (an online quiz game that explains important vocabulary around a topic teachers are trying to convey) , and 360-degree interactive drone footage to better understand how all these subjects interact and interconnect.
Life is not easy, but we get by with a little help from our friends. Thank goodness for partners in conservation!
Cheers to these amazing folks:
I became a Natural Resource Educator because I have witnessed the power of teaching adults and youth about local natural resources. The connections provided during outdoor conservation education are cross-curricular and build a scaffolding for higher level thinking. It is a blessing to work in a field I am passionate about on a daily basis. I am currently working for the City of Keizer as the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator where I have the opportunity to connect the community with their water resources, inspire awareness with the goal of driving action of protecting/improving water resources.