Return of the Natives is one of the greatest grassroots environmental organizations of the Monterey Bay area. "Bringing people closer to nature and nature closer to people through hands-on participation in restoring habitats." I volunteered Saturday at Upper Carr Lake in Salinas for the 4th annual bird count and clean-up sponsored by Return of the Natives, a project of the Watershed Institute, CSUMB.
As a land steward, I feel I need to participate in local environmental events and stay connected to the heart and soul of this community.
This erosion control mat was supposed to have biodegraded but has remained intact in many places for over 15 years.
The future is on the other side of Laurel Drive where the dream of restoring the historic Carr Lake is visioned. The Gabilan, Sanborn, and Natividad Creeks drain into the "rec ditch" that flow through Castroville, the Tembladero, Moro Coho, and eventually to the bay. The same Upper Carr Lake water mingles with the waters of the Elkhorn Slough. The system is connected. We need places like Upper Carr Lake and the future Carr Lake restoration to hold water and filter out pollutants and sediment as water continues the journey from the Gabilan mountains to the Monterey Bay.
An event to celebrate the Gabilan watershed opens February 5th at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. I proudly contributed to this exhibit and can't wait to celebrate with others.