FLOW Receives Grant from State Parks Foundation
By Thomas Anderson

State Parks Foundation
Amigos de Bolsa Chica’s Follow and Learn about Oceans and Wetlands (FLOW) program received a generous grant from California State Parks Foundation in January. The grant supports two of the most important elements ensuring the success of the program: the costs of bus transportation for 6-10 qualifying underserved schools as well as a portion of the Program Manager’s compensation.

Jill Lemon is our current Program Manager. Jill has had a life-long passion for the ocean, science and education, and she is now working on a degree in Marine Biology and plans to transfer to Cal State Long Beach. Jill is an outgoing, enthusiastic young woman who most recently worked for the Newport Beach-based Ocean Quest as an educator and Citizen Science Coordinator. While there, she developed programs for middle and high school students, conducted fieldwork, collected data for grant requirements, and created partnerships with other Orange County non-profits conducting citizen science. She also conducted instructional presentations and hands-on science with both students and the community. She knows how to adjust the curriculum to fit the needs of the audience.

Before working for Ocean Quest she served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 13 years. She became an expert in pollution prevention/response and incident management while there. She conducted patrols in the Arctic and Pacific enforcing the Living Marine Resources (fisheries enforcement and marine mammal protection) mission of the Coast Guard. She also oversaw the completion of the 2014 Area Contingency Plan, capturing natural resource data and protection strategies for 300 miles of California coastline.

Jill says, “I’ve spent my career thus far on the wrong side of environmental change—enforcement and ‘after-the-fact’ policy. It feels so good to finally affect change, educate, and work with an engaged community.”

We encourage not just our Citizen Scientists but all Amigos members to stop by FLOW at the Bolsa Chica State Beach Visitor Center on Fridays to meet Jill and see why studying the most basic component of the aquatic food web—phytoplanktion—can be so much fun. To find out when FLOW is meeting on Fridays, contact Jill.