PHOTO: CYNTHIA HARTLEY
SHOREBIRD RECOVERY PROGRAM- EDUCATION
Outreach is the heart of our Shorebird Recovery program. Both Ormond and Hollywood are public beaches and become very busy during the summertime, which corresponds to peak nesting time. A strong outreach program gives the community access to the special species that live on these beaches, while teaching them to cherish and respect these sensitive wildlife. It also give the community ownership in protecting the beach and a desire to teach others.
WHAT IS A BEACH NATURALIST?
As a beach naturalist, you will educate and inform visitors to area beaches as part of the Shorebird Recovery Program. You will teach them about western snowy plovers and California least terns and how to help these birds.
Become a trained volunteer by attending a free half day workshop, sign up bottom of page:
Morning session: in-person classroom learning
Late morning/early afternoon: Practice what you learn in classroom - field training at either Ormond, Hollywood and Hueneme Beaches
Volunteers learn about the following topics by a Ventura Audubon Biologist and Outreach Coordinator:
Beach/Dune Ecology: History and Processes of the Beach
Biology/Ecology of Western Snowy Plover and CA Least Terns
Rules and Regulations pertaining to locations we serve
Data collection to support population recovery and wrack abundance
After volunteers have completed training, they sign up for two 2-hour beach shifts per month through September at either Ormond or Hollywood Beach and share their knowledge.
This work is supported by a Whale Tail grant
Recruiting Dog Rangers
Greeting Beach Goers, Conducting Outreach and Education
Tideline Surveys - snowy plovers and shorebird migrants
Wrack Abundance Surveys
Nest Surveys, assist
Fence Maintenance and putting up fence signs
Banded bird reports
Fence and Sign Maintenance: Ormond and Hollywood Beaches fence the breeding / nesting habitat of both plovers and terns to prevent trespassing and destruction of the habitat. These fences need to be periodically installed, removed and maintained. Volunteers can be expected to assist with small repairs and projects aimed to improve and support these installations.
Outreach and Education: Many visitors to our beaches come from out of town or are simply unaware of the designation of critical habitat and the role it plays in the continued recovery of more than 26 special status species. As a Volunteer for VAS it is important that you communicate with beach goers about the importance of following the rules and the critical nature of these locations. Birding pamphlets, crafts, dog information and educational handouts with more information are available to use and distribute. VAS from time to time will also participate in community events with our popular “Plover Pals” activity, a educational craft, that teaches young kids about the importance of plovers as they create their own plover chick.
Nest Surveys (Assist): VAS Biologist perform weekly biological assessments and surveys at Ormond, occasionally Volunteers may be invited to assist or accompany a Biologist. Through this Volunteers can venture supervised by a Biologist into the habitat to help with predator exclosures, collect nesting data and habitat metrics. You may even get to see chicks!
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A BEACH NATURALIST?
If you are interested in becoming a beach naturalist, we need you! Sign up for upcoming training workshop dates.
VAS would like to thank all of the volunteers who attended our naturalist training this year as well as all of those who returned from previous years and spent time on the beaches helping to protect our nesting birds. Volunteers also assisted monitors with surveys, fence and sign installation and repair throughout the season!