AHS Visits Antioch Dunes Wildlife Refuge

**student blog**

Antioch Dunes group shot

The Antioch dunes were a naturally occurring native habitat home to great unique native species the dunes were bought by DOW and were used to make plants and factories the dunes were not finally let go of for over 20 years. By then the damage had already been done irreparable damage to the ecosystem and native species. DOW had come to realize its Antioch Dunes Planting Photo.JPGmistake and started a restoration act in order to to save the small amount of species they could.

We decided we wanted to help with the restoration process and management. So as a team we arrived at the lush green and yellow paradise known as the Antioch dunes. We learned about the species native to the Antioch dunes and how they contribute to their ecosystem. As we were there we learned how to remove invasive species and help to restore the dunes.

On the trip there were many interesting experiences says one of our peers. They  learned so much on how to identify native  species and how to remove invasive ones. They got to plant some Antioch native flowers and see native butterflies. Overall we all believe it was a great experience and one we can indulge on again.

 

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Written by: Jeremiah Campana and Deserai Chhon

 

Youth for the Environment and Sustainability Conference 2017

***Student Blog***

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AHS Earth Team with Program Associate, Julia Dorosh.

February 25 was the day of the action packed trip to the yes conference. The

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Program Associate setting up with Oakland Tech interns for their 3 Bin system presentation.

YES conference is a place where youth can meet and discuss things happening in our environment. The day was very enlightening as we talked to empowered youth willing to learn about the environment. We went in to different conferences in which we were taught about the environment by our peers. During the day there were also many prizes to be won. Our group member also won the grand prize

      The many booths and workshops were extremely beneficial such as the bike workshop and air filtration workshop.Many of these workshops told us about small things we can change in our lives  to make a difference. I have attended many of the work shops and all of which inspired me. I can’t wait to see hot other things people will bring to the conference next year.

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Antioch High ET intern,  Juan Gonzalez, with his brand new chromebook YES Conference prize!

At the end of the day all of the people who attended were able to pick and choose a native plants to bring home. In conclusion the day was long adventurous and filled with wisdom. We hope to be there next year, thank you Spare the Air and Yes conference we had a wonderful time.

Written by: Jeremiah Campana

Antioch Earth Team WQ Tests

Interns spent their weekly meeting this Valentine’s Day testing water samples from 4 different locations, Lake Merritt in Oakland, Antioch Marina, stormwater runoff near Antioch High, and tap water from Antioch High. Parameters tested were dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, temperature, turbidity, and salinity. Interns learned how to IMG_3402.JPGconduct WQ testing and what each parameter indicates and how it can affect species. As well as differences in salinity in Bay Water closer to the Pacific Ocean. Interns first hypothesized what they believed the pH and dissolved oxygen levels would be in each sample, after learning more about pH and dissolved oxygen and where the samples themselves were collected. Interns after the WQ testing than discussed why those samples had differences, especially in salinity and pH. Water samples at Lake Merritt had higher levels of salinity than samples from Antioch Marina, interns hypothesized that this is due to the fact that Lake Merritt is a lagoon where water enters from the bay and is closer to the Pacific Ocean. Interns were happy to discover that their tap water was in normal pH levels, and was very close to being pure water. Stormwater runoff collected had the most the basic pH level, nearing the same acidity level as Drano.

 

Downtown Antioch Litter Assessment

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Antioch High Earth Team began a litter assessment of downtown Antioch starting from the high school ending at the Marina. Interns collected litter and entered the data into the Zerolitter.org for a duration of 1 hour and 3o mins.; within that time frame interns collected over 300 pieces of litter. The information recorded about the density of litter downtown will hopefully provide the city of Antioch with additional information in order to achieve their zero litter goal by 2020.

Last Moments of 2016 for Antioch Earth Team!

IMG_2736 2.JPGAntioch High interns finished off their first semester Earth Team internship strong by presenting to several classes about the importance of healthy watersheds, litter reduction, and our beautiful bay in December! During the same day at lunch interns hosted a recycling drive and litter guessing game to engage the entire student body. All money made from recyclables was donated to standfortrees.org. Antioch Earth Team was inspired and touched by a slam poet who advocated for this Amazon tree planting non-profit, in a moving slam poetry video. This video was shown to each class that was presented too. Earth Team encourages you to watch, and maybe just maybe donate to the cause! Video is shown below.

Interns also did their part to help native trees and other plant species in their local environment by removing highly invasive french broom from San Pablo Dam Reservoir. Interns removed over 2,500 sq. ft. from a natural area near Kennedy grove in El Sobrante. Due to their hard work native plants in that area can thrive and no longer need to compete with invasive french broom. Good job interns!IMG_2766.JPG This coming semester interns will begin hosting their own environmental events that anyone can join, keep checking back for more information!

 

 

Antioch Earth Team vs Litter!

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Interns after conducting litter assessment!

Antioch High Earth Team spent this week conducting a litter assessment at their school. Interns determined that most of the litter found was plastics, and food wrappers. This lead them to believe that lunch was predominantly the time when students were littering due to a lack of recycling bins in quads. Antioch High is only a couple miles away from the Bay, this means that storm drains from the school and litter traveliearth-team-6ng by wind can easily enter the marine environment. Marine debris is a huge environmental issue, and can mean the unfortunate deaths of countless marine species, and negative impacts on these vital ecosystems. Interns have decided to educate their peers on the effects of littering on their local environment, and what can they do to stop being a part of the problem and become the solution. On December 6th, Earth Team will present to 20 different classes at Antioch High, and provide recycling bins in the quads at lunch in order to make a small positive difference that hopefully has lasting impacts on their peers.

 

Antioch Earth Team Talks Plastic Bags

This week in honor of Election Day, Antioch Earth Team participated in a friendly debate and discussion about the banning of single use plastic bags in California. Interns researched and discussed the two props that pertained to the banning of single use plastic bags, Prop 65 and 67. Interns then broke into groups representing Proposition 65 and 67, and attempted to persuade Program Associate, Julia Dorosh, to vote yes on their given prop. The hot topics were whether it was right to charge consumers 10 cents per plastic bag especially those experiencing financial struggles, the ecological benefits to watersheds and oceans from the banning of plastic bags, and where the revenue from plastic bags purchases should be distributed. Interns learned that both Propositions supported the continuing ban on single use plastic bags, but differed in many ways. Ultimately, interns were supportive of any Proposition that helps our environment, and were happy to know that California’s natural world will not be experiencing such high levels of plastic bag litter in years to come.

DOW Wetlands Preserve Field Day

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Antioch High Earth Team enjoyed a beautiful and productive Saturday at the DOW Wetlands Preserve located near the Antioch Marina. The DOW Wetlands Preserve was created on Earth Day in 1990, and consists of 471 acres of protected land that is completely open to the public. DOW purchased the land in order to create an environmental buffer zone to protect the bay from runoff pollution originating from neighboring towns, Antioch and Pittsburg. Tidal wetlands and small ponds dominate 200 acres of the land, and provide habitat for endangered and threatened species. The wetlands provide a natural filtration system for water flowing to the bay through Kirker Creek and Antioch Creek. Unfortunately, a vast amount of litter still enters these creeks from storm drains that run through the Preserve. Krist Jenson, a former DOW employee, and current Wetlands Preserve Volunteer, had students help remove litter from these storm drains and also gave them a guided tour of the Preserve. Krist captured the curiosity of ET interns by highlighting the native flora and fauna. The adorable river otters and beavers were the most intriguing to the students. Earth Team will be joining Krist again in January to assist the DOW Wetlands Preserve volunteers in necessary habitat restoration efforts. dow wetlands preserve.jpg

“My favorite part of the field day was enjoying a nice 3 mile walk outdoors while learning all about the species and plants at DOW.” -Jaden Waters

“Something new I learned is that catttails help filter water” -Hannah Ong

 

Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline Hike

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Antioch and Pinole Valley High Earth Team interns at Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline.

Earth Team interns came together and conquered a challenging hike at Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline in Martinez on October 15th. The hike was moderate, roughly 3 miles round trip, with an intensive uphill trek in the beginning. Antioch High and Pinole Valley High interns pushed one another to successfully complete the hike.

The natural beauty was simply stunning at the Regional Shoreline, with clear views, and crisp air. Interns were reward stunning views of Suisun Bay, and the Carquinez Strait, after pushing themselves up a steep incline. For many interns, it was their first hike ever, and had challenged them immensely. Overall, it was a positive experience filled with laughter, and encouragement.

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Earth Team interns defeating the uphill portion.

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“The hike made me feel good because I actually got to get out of Antioch and look at other city’s environments” -Taniya Rana

“My favorite part was seeing the landscape” -Vania Huaranga

“My favorite part of the hike was the scenery and being in nature” -Deserai Chon

“Hiking made me feel tired but inspired” -Jaden Waters