For today’s blog, I am going to be writing a little about the last two days. On Wednesday, during the afternoon, we went kayaking on Elkhorn Slough after a morning of testing the water quality of various rivers and creeks that flow into the slough. Kayaking along the slough, we saw sea lions, swimming with one flipper raised out of the water, harbor seals (even a mother and her newly born pup!), and flotillas of sea otters, grooming their furry selves and diving in the water. There were also various bird species, pelicans, grey herons, and ducks, all diving for fish. Though we were so amazed by all the animals, after getting back, we realized that all the little creeks and rivers that we had visited in the morning emptied into the slough, and the result of all the sediment and fertilizer run-offs added to the overall environment of the slough. Comparing our visits to the various water testing sites and the majestic beauty of the slough, I could not believe that the contamination from the run-offs was slowly degrading the natural environment that was a home to these animals. The juxtaposition between the stagnant, algae-covered pools and the freely-flowing water of the slough astonished me when I thought about the fact that these bodies of water were actually one and the same. Kayaking the slough really drove home the idea that our environment, the environment of the animals we saw along the slough, the environments of the small creeks and rivers were all one and the same; therefore, all deserved the same attention and appreciation.
Here is a picture of us kayaking.
Now, transitioning to today’s activities, waking up to Grace’s song about mold, we got ready for a visit to the headquarters of the berry farm Driscoll’s and a tour of the company’s aquifer recharge project and wildlife conservation sites on farmlands. As the point person to introduce Driscoll’s to the group, I talked about the history of the family-owned company and its growth globally. Over the course of the morning, we learned about its current production methods, partnerships with other family farms, and “green team” efforts, employee-initiated projects directed towards community involvement in environmental protection. Hearing about the production methods of a large-scale agricultural business, we could really compare the practices and overall messages of ALBA and Driscoll’s. As we were reflecting about the morning and afternoon tours of Driscoll’s conservation sites, Shirley brought up the comparison between the capabilities of a smaller organization and a company like Driscoll’s. Does money really drive action? What can we, our ASB group, do to effect action after our trip ends?
We even got Driscoll’s branded baseball caps!