Last week, Outreach Coordinator Kelsey Westfall and Program Manager Alex Keeble-Toll presented The Sierra Fund’s Advisory Posting Protocol to students of El Dorado High School’s Natural Resources Program. The Protocol outlines best practices and lessons learned from our three-year project to post state-issued fish consumption advisories at water bodies in the Sierra. The pitch to students was to launch a fish consumption advisory posting effort in their region, namely posting the recently released site-specific fish advisory at Jenkinson Lake, a reservoir mere miles from their school campus.
The group of more than twenty high school juniors were an incredible audience during the hour and a half presentation. Students actively engaged with TSF staff, brainstorming strategies for effective execution of the steps to hold a posting event and asking thoughtful questions like “If mercury is bad for humans, does it also harm the fish?” This was the first in a series of presentations TSF is scheduling for this fall and early next spring to encourage agencies and organizations statewide to launch fish advisory posting efforts in their region in order to reduce human exposure to mercury.
We plan to present in Sierra watersheds most impacted by historic gold mining, such as the Yuba and Feather River watersheds, as well as in communities affected by legacy mercury mines on California’s Coast Range.