Jerry's Last President's Tern
By Jerry Donohue

Santa Barbara Audubon Visit

Jerry Donohue, pointing, teaches Citizen
Scientist trainees about the coastal wetland
ecosystem. Photo by Michelle Miller.
On November 15, Charles Falzon and I were able to attend the monthly meeting of the Santa Barbara Audubon Society. David and Margaret Carlberg, founding Amigos members, presented a three part program about Bolsa Chica. Dave began with a PowerPoint on the history of Bolsa Chica, followed by a showing of our 2016 short film, Saving The Bolsa Chica Wetlands, and concluding with Margaret showing fish and bird data collected over the past ten years since the opening of the tidal inlet. This event was held at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and had 35 avid environmentalists aksing excellent questions for 20 minutes. We have invited this group to visit the Bolsa Chica for a tour in the near future.

Lands Pass Update

A daily user fee is set to be implemented February 1 for visitors to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. (See the Fall 2017 Issue of the Tern Tide for details on this statewide program.) This pass can be purchased with a smart phone or online. School groups and volunteers are among those exempt from this new fee. Shirley Dettloff and Jerry Donohue are visiting local state legislators in an attempt to get this fee rescinded. Stay tuned.

Thank You, Amigos

As this will be my last chance to make comments in this section, I want to thank you all Amigos for the opportunity to help lead this organization these past 4 years. My wife Lori and I enrolled in the docent training class 10 years ago and we loved listening to and learning from many of the founding members who now have completed over 40 years of hard work saving the Bolsa Chica wetlands. Today, though the area is protected several issues have arisen that still require our vigilance. The continued need to dredge the tidal inlet and the imposition of user fees are the two major issues that you will hear more about in the next few months.

Amigos has always felt like family to me. Volunteering gives back to the community but when you get the opportunity to volunteer and educate at the same time a double blessing is received. Whether leading a wetland tour or helping pull in a phytoplankton sample with a net, there is something special about investigations into nature. At a recent Saturday bird walk people were commenting about how they had driven past this south parking lot at 60 miles per hour for years without stopping to see what it contained. That had been my story for many years as well. Now I can walk to the BCER in 15 minutes and then spend several hours enjoying the wildlife or just the beauty and silence from the Pocket Pond.

The Amigos legacy is carried on by a small but dedicated group of individuals who year after year attend board or educational meetings. Some of these people work quietly, often without the recognition they deserve for their efforts. It is grass roots citizen groups like ours that makes this country great. Amigos has been fortunate to attract some young people over the years, mostly through FLOW. I think we have acted as good role models so even if their job opportunities forced them to leave our area, our imprint still remains with them. Furthermore, in the next few months we are working with the Senior Center in Huntington Beach to lead tours for seniors and maybe enlisting their support for some of our projects as well. I am thankful for all the help you have shown me over the years and I will continue to volunteer and serve where needed. See you at the wetlands or at FLOW. Thanks, Jerry.