February 25 was the day of the action packed trip to the yes conference. The
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.
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.
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 conduct 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.
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.
Antioch 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! This coming semester interns will begin hosting their own environmental events that anyone can join, keep checking back for more information!
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 traveling 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.
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.
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.
“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
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.
“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
Earth Team interns from Antioch High have officially began their internship! The first two meetings were spent their first learning all about the San Francisco Bay Delta Watershed. Their mission this year is help restore and protect this vibrant watershed.
The SF Bay Delta Watershed has suffered many environmental impacts such as the abundance of invasive species, immense habitat degradation, and poor water quality. The Antioch Earth Team this year hopes to help the watershed thrive once more. Interns were shocked to learn that their local watershed provides drinking water for over 20 million Californians! This provided them with even more incentive to devote much of their internship to improving the SF Bay Delta Watershed. Interns will be working with Friends of Marsh Creek and the Big Break Shoreline to restore aquatic habitats throughout Antioch.