Monday, April 27, 2009

FOCL celebrates Earth Day: Econversations, Trash Clean-Up, Native Planting and yum yum Veggie BBQ

To kick off the weekend, FOCL hosted its 3rd annual Earth Day Celebration. The party started on Friday April 24th and ended Saturday afternoon with the BEST Vegetarian Barbecue I've ever had–thanks to our volunteer cooks for the day, the food was fabulous!
Friday's festivities were something special. Lagoon lovers gathered around a bonfire to listen to three of the night's FOCL speakers, each taking us through an educational journey in honor of our little wetland. And while we listened, we grubbed on snacks and hot chocolate (Yummy!). Eric made a great host that night, he was so excited. I loved his introduction and transitions into each presenter.
Tim, FOCL's awesome Creative Arts facilitator (and creator of this lovely blog), gave the audience a visual taste of Mornings at the Lagoon, which highlighted some of the wetland's most breathtaking moments. Tim's photos were brilliant and the presentation was calming. For a moment I could forget the stress of school/work and just sit back and relax to photos of birds and plants ( and a little taste of Tim's acoustic skills–he strummed a soothing tune on his guitar). One of Tim's slides described the efforts of FOCL: Together-All hard work leads to beautiful things. Ain't that the truth! Another favorite section of mine was the slides following the category, What's under da Sea? (Tim's titles were fun!). Eric chimed in with a little information on plankton and also corrected Tim's pronunciation of "Fouling," which I thought was funny (It's okay Tim, I've pronounced it wrong too!). In the section on WAMSEC and Friends, he described the purpose of it all as a way to "laugh and enjoy nature and get the community involved." He ended his presentation with a "softer look at the lagoon,"showing some black and white photos (while he played music in the background). Summer's approaching quickly, which reminded me of FOCL's A Night of Art and Music, the next big event that all you FOCLers should look forward to. The dates are the 19th and 20th (of which month I cannot remember! Sorry guys, but someone will post that up soon).

Next, Eric made another short and sweet speech, this time going over FOCL's beginnings. The organization has been doing what they do since 1999. Since this September, about 2,232 community service hours have been calculated from an amazing 980 volunteers who have come out to help restore the lagoon. Eric said that "a lot of this (is) made possible through friends." Our friendships are still growing and expanding. I expect the number of volunteers (and hours) to grow as more and more people of all ages start to sprout up at the lagoon! I was impressed by the age range in volunteers, kids as young as five years old come out to pull ice plants and clean up trash. Some of FOCLs senior volunteers are just as strong as the youth! Go volunteers!
The next presentation was given by our own project manager and FOCL board member (and Graduate student in geography), Adrienne Bosler. By the way, Eric made a hilarious (at least to me) joke and imitation of a raptor, I was totally cracking up! I thought it was a great transition into Adrienne's slide show on Raptors in Wetlands. I learned about so many different types of birds. The kids in the audience enjoyed Adrienne's presentation, they asked a lot of good questions.
The final econversation was given by Dr. Christine Whitcraft, CSULB Wetlands Professor and FOCL board member. Christine told us about What's for Dinner at Colorado Lagoon? And all the choices sounded so tasty (mmm bacteria and seagrass!) that I headed over to the snack area to munch on some fruit and veggies.
But the greatest show of the night was, of course, the Colorado Lagoon itself. It was absolutely stunning. The water shimmered while birds glided across it like tiny shadows.

Saturday began with a bang. People showed up ready to clean up the Lagoon. We collected 20 bags of trash weighing in at 36 lbs. Great job guys! If anyone was more excited than Eric, it was the kids. They were excited about spending their morning digging up holes for the Native Planting and diving into FOCL's education display. Although the Ladderball Tournament never happened, the kids loved playing it between activities. Next time the competition should be pretty heated now that everyones' had some practice. (I've yet to play the game, but it looks like tons of fun!).
Newlyweds, Allyson and Andy (sorry if I spelled your names incorrectly) spent their "honeymoon" at the lagoon, having just been married the night before. I spent the duration of the planting talking to the adorable and enthusiastic couple. Andy was a "digging machine" that day, Allyson and I could hardly keep up with filling each hole with plants. It happened so quickly! And now there are lots of beautiful little plants around the concrete path leading from the WAMSEC, and wrapping around the sand and playground of the lagoon. Everyone who helped should feel extremely
proud for making this past weekend a successful celebration of our wetland. Thank you guys!

We missed you this weekend Taylor, I hope you had as much fun in Hawaii as we all had at the lagoon!

Oh, and please check out the article in The District Weekly, it is phenomenal:
Take care and enjoy the rest of the week! –Amber :)

Here's some pictures from the weekend!

Enjoy :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lagoon Report for Friday April 24th

Happy Friday!!

Its been a busy week for me here at work and I haven't been able to spend as much time on the Blog as I like to. I have also been preparing for our Earth Day celebration tonight at 7pm and tomorrow at 10am.
I will be giving a photo presentation on My Mornings at the Lagoon and it will consist of photographs from different aspects of the Lagoon life in the morning. I'm very excited about this opportunity and look forward to sharing these moments with everyone.
There are also two other presentations by Lagoon folks and should prove to be a wonderful time in the sand!
Tomorrow morning we have a planting, a trash pick-up, games on the beach and a BBQ to top off the day. Come down and have some fun!!!
Smiles and Love,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Report!!

I thought I would let the Earth speak for itself on this great Earth Day. So here are different perspectives from all over the world.

Happy Earth Day!!!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lagoon Report for Tuesday April 21st

Its going to be another hot one today, drink lots of water!!! It was a gorgeous morning with some lovely clouds in the sky. I caught this duck sleeping and just as I took the picture he woke up and gave a nice, big yawn!

Another barnacle shot...
Take care of each other :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lagoon Report for Monday April 20th

Hello there!

Its a bright, shiny and Hot Monday morning. We are definitely having a 'heat wave' as they call it! Its a perfect time for an ocean swim, heading to the pool or slip 'n' slide in the backyard. Stay cool and drink Lots of water!

This morning we have our weekly Monday morning trash clean-ups. By the looks of it this morning, it was a busy weekend down at the Lagoon. There was plenty of trash along the shoreline as I walked around. Lets all try to do our part whenever we are down at the Lagoon to pick up a few pieces of trash. It makes a difference!

Its an exciting week as we gear up for our Earth Day event starting on Friday night and again on Saturday morning. I'll be posting the flier today or tomorrow, tell friends and family about it!



Friday, April 17, 2009

Late Lagoon Report for Friday April 17th

Happy Friday Afternoon!

Its late in the day, I realize that but I was busy at work this morning and couldn't pull away to post but here it is anyway!

So with the tides low, this is what it looks like. You have the Snowy Egert hanging out on the waters edge with his/her skinny legs. They stroll through the shallow water unnoticed to fish then with their long necks snag their food in an instant. This Egert is a regular on this end of the Lagoon in the mornings, I see it most often, I call him 'Skinny E' , we're friends.
Is that a golf ball...probably so.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoys the great weather we are having!!



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lagoon Report for Thursday April 16th

Buen Dia!

What gorgeous weather we are having here in the South land. The wind is clearing the skies of all the unwanted pollutants, it feels great outside. April 15th has come and gone, I hope everyone got through it without too much stress. If you need to relieve some stress I suggest a walk down at the Lagoon! This morning I stumbled across this beautiful leaf and some barnacles who had attached themselves to a cement block. Small, living creatures that often go unnoticed here at the Lagoon.
Be sure to CLICK on the picture and check out the detail in these Photos!

Our Earth Day event is getting closer and closer. Just a little over a week away we will be gathering together next Friday (4/24) and Saturday (4/25) to Celebrate the Earth and all that we enjoy. Please join us Friday night for some educational talks from some folks who love to spend time at the Lagoon. Then on Saturday we will be enjoying the different aspects of the Lagoon, complete with a clean-up, planting, games and veggie BBQ. This event is for the WHOLE family, so come on down and join in the fun!!

Eric suggested I get some pictures of Barnacles so this is for him and everyone to see!

Smiles and Love,


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lagoon Report for Wednesday April 15th

Good Morning Folks!

Last night the wind howled and howled and left us with beautiful blue skies and a crisp morning. I am going to have to search out these barnacles and other underwater life and maybe wear my waders as I'm sure to get muddy on the slick slopes. Here is one of the drainage systems that comes into the Lagoon, these creatures don't seem to mind and latch right on. Does anyone know the name of creature that lives inside this shell?

News from Taylor last night...

He is in Hawaii and getting ready to set sail (on a three hour tour) on the research vessel that he will call home for the next two weeks. He said he is learning a lot about fish but misses his plants terribly! He is surrounded by fish biologist and is getting 'schooled' on the ecology, geology and many other aspects of island fish. I'll try to keep you updated as we hear from him.

Have a wonderful day, its gorgeous!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lagoon Report for Tuesday April 14th


Good morning everyone, we are into the week and its looking gorgeous outside. Recently at the Lagoon the tide has been really low in the mornings when I arrive, this gives a completely different look to the wetland. It reveals barnacles, algae, clams and other sea life underneath the surface of the water. Most people don't realize all the ecology that takes place in this different world. So in response to the low tides and becoming more aware of this new, unseen world I'm going to shift my focus to below water life, as best as I can!

This past Saturday we had our monthly Estuary Exploration in which Eric Zahn and Chris Mull dragged a net through the water to collect different fish species found in the Lagoon. It was amazing to see that despite all the pollution that finds it way into the Lagoon these resilient creatures still thrived! We captured only the smallest fraction of whats out there but it demonstrated the importance of the work we are doing at the Colorado Lagoon. Lets keep it up!!

Here are some photos from that day...

Gathering the fish and other species
Digging through all the algae for lagoon creatures
We put them in this pool and then collected them for the fish tank
The fish tank allows everyone to see the Lagoon life up close while Eric and Chris educate everyone about each of the fish and the ecology of the Lagoon.
Be sure to check our Calender at for future events. Estuary Explorations happen the second Saturday of every month from 12-2pm.

Thanks for Smiling!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Lagoon Report for Friday April 10th

Happy Friday!

For those of us who work Mon- Fri, today is a good day! Of course even if you don't work Mon-Fri today can still be a great day, so lets all be happy!
With the clouds overhead, this morning was nice and calm at the Lagoon. This weekend has a few events planned starting with tomorrow, Saturday from 12-2pm we have our monthly Estuary Exploration. Come learn about the Lagoon and just enjoy hanging out with others in a beautiful place. Then on Sunday we have our infamous Ice-Plant Removal party from 11am-1pm. Come on down and help out. Its a great chance to work in the sun, get a little dirty and have a blast with everyone. We have a good time to say the least!
I hope everyone enjoys the weekend. I hear the Grand Prix is in town, always a great local event!
Take care of one another!

Patagonia Report

Buen Dia!

People have been asking: How was Patagonia? What's it like down there? What did you do exactly?

To put Patagonia in simple terms...Its amazing!

For those of you who don't know (like myself before my trip), Patagonia is considered the Southern region of Argentina and Chile and extends all the way to the tip of S. America. It's is comprised of the Andes Mtns, far reaching Plateaus, islands, animals not found anywhere else and terrain unparalleled to anything I had ever seen. It is another world to say the least.

The wind blows constantly and the weather can change in a matter of minutes, you always have your jacket with you. The temperature is cold but the view unbelievable. I found myself staring at the beauty that was before me, it was eye-candy for the nature lover!

So here are a few photographs I took along the way. I brought my 35mm film camera as that's the medium I enjoy shooting the most. So all the colors you see have not been altered in anyway. As I like to say...It is as the moment was. Enjoy!

Magellan Penguins at El Fin de Mundo (End of the earth)

Glacier run-off near El Chalten

'Old Reliable' ....Yikes

Random, beautiful horse

Wind blown trees... the wind blows so hard and constant in this area the trees are permanently shaped this way

River and the surface of the glacier

Notice the people on the ground getting ready to venture out onto this glacier Monster-gives good perspective of the size of this massive, mound of moving ice.

Gorgeous waterfall- The blowing wind doesn't allow this waterfall to hit the ground in a normal fashion

Rock climbing in El Chalten

End of the day in Begal Canal- this is the region where in the 1500's Magellan first found the tip of S. America