Projects in Fortuna

HSU Student Research Stipends
Fortuna Creeks Project
Friends of the Van Duzen

Background: CCWI obtained funding to perform research, testing and education in the Eel River and surrounding tributaries located directly adjacent to the City of Fortuna. The focus of this project is to identify pollution sources and problems in water quality, and use data collected to develop fact sheets and educational materials for the general public highlighting best management practices and strategies for reducing pollution.

CCWI has provided internships to HSU students and formed partnerships with two great groups doing water quality monitoring in the Fortuna area: The Fortuna Creeks Project, based at Fortuna Union High School, and Friends of the Van Duzen, a local watershed group.

From left to right: Pam Halstead, Jennifer Cole, Tyler Brandenberg, Jennifer Fuller, and Mike Sandler

Research Stipends For HSU Students

In 2005 CCWI offered a research stipend and internship to HSU student Jon Mooney to conduct an energy analysis for the City of Fortuna. The project will build off of Jennifer Fuller's previous work with the City in analyzing the City's wastewater treatment plant. The final report will contain information on greenhouse gas emissions resulting from City operations, and information about how the City can participate in ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection (R) program. Jon is a Master's student focusing on energy and water issues, and he works part-time for the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, based in Eureka. The Redwood Coast Energy Authority is co-sponsoring Jon's internship.

In the Spring Semester 2003, the Community Clean Water Institute offered a research stipend of $1000 to 3 HSU students. The selected students worked with Community Clean Water Institute approximately 3 hours per week performing research culminating in a 10-20 page research paper focusing on one of the following three topics:

1) Jennifer Fuller, Environmental Engineering- "Energy efficiency in the City of Fortuna's wastewater treatment plant" This paper analyzes the feasibility of incorporating energy efficiency into the upgrade of the City of Fortuna's Wastewater Treatment plant, including an analysis of the City of Santa Rosa's energy efficiency upgrades. Jennifer Fuller continued her work on City energy use through 2004.

2) Jennifer Cole, Fisheries Department-
"Evaluation of water quality monitoring on urban streams in Fortuna, California from 1997 to 2003."
This paper is an analysis of 6 years of water quality data collected by Fortuna Union High School's Fortuna Creeks Project, including descriptions of the program's water quality monitoring protocols, and proposed directions for future water quality monitoring.

3) Tyler Brandenburg, Geography-
"Aquatic Classroom Ecosystems and Earth Science Systems for High School Curriculums."

The HSU research reports were presented at a public meeting at Fortuna Union High School in May 2003. Tyler Brandenburg and others presented the results of their semester research project.

Fortuna Creeks Project

Fortuna Creeks Project and Community Clean Water Institute team up to increase creek monitoring.

The Fortuna Creeks Project kicked off a nine month creek monitoring project with support of the non-profit Community Clean Water Institute on April 17th, 2002. The project will involve student monitoring of Mill, Rohner, and Strongs Creeks, and the Eel River. Students will test 5 water quality parameters on an ongoing basis.

CCWI's Program Coordinator, Mike Sandler said, "We are very excited to be partnering with the Fortuna Creeks Project. Through this partnership, students will gain valuable skills, learn more about the watershed they live in, and gather the type of scientific information which is the basis for smart decision making. A clean watershed is something that benefits the whole community."

Summary: The Fortuna Project's monitoring component will be focused on identifying pollution sources to develop a baseline of what pollution exists and where the pollution originates. The project's data collection activities, testing and monitoring will be used to compile a report, or fact sheet with description of the area, test sites, test data, and analysis, which will be distributed to the public via fact sheets, the CCWI web site and in newsletters and other web sites.

Current parameters to be monitored:
dissolved oxygen,

For more information, please contact Mike Sandler, Program Coordinator (707) 874-3803, or check http://www.fortunacreeks.com/

CCWI has teamed up with Friends of the Van Duzen.

With support from CCWI, Friends of the Van Duzen, a watershed group based near Fortuna and a member of the Humboldt Watershed Council, has coordinated watershed education projects with three schools along the Van Duzen River: Hydesville School, Cuddeback School, and Bridgeville School.

This project focuses on:

" Student monitoring, sampling, and testing of water quality in rivers or creeks near their school
" Creek clean-up, garbage removal, general visual assessments of creeks by students
" Student observation of rainfall data, and evaluation of insect, amphibian, and fisheries habitat along creeks

The project may also include these additional components:
" Students raise and release salmonids following guidelines of similar established Americorps programs
" Student study of insects and amphibians including tanks
" Student study of water cycles and watershed issues
" Establish a regional watershed library at one of the schools with books and information about the watershed

Friends of the Van Duzen hosted a Watershed Education Day in Fortuna in 2003 which was well attended.
They have also presented a 3 year turbidity study of water quality to the Regional Water Quality Control Board and are monitoring the Regional Water Board's regulation of water quality (TMDL process) on the Van Duzen River.

Friends of the Van Duzen has an updated website with more information and reports here.

Interested teachers, or people associated with the schools who wish to participate in the project can contact Friends of the Van Duzen at (707) 768-3189 or stein@humboldt1.com.

Direct any questions to info@ccwi.org.


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