A couple of weeks ago I coordinated a kayaking event at Elkhorn Slough to celebrate Latino Conservation Week (LCW). LCW was launched in 2014 and has been growing ever since with the number of events increasing every year. This year LCW was from July 14-22, and my event took place on July 14th. My current internship organization (Bureau of Land Management California Coastal National Monument) partnered up with Monterey Bay Kayaks, Fort Friends, and Elkhorn Slough Reserve to make this happen. We used kayaks from Monterey Bay Kayaks as they donated 8 free spots and Fort Friends sponsored the remaining spots.
The purpose of my kayak event was to get Latino youth involved in exploring the outdoors and encouraging future generations to be involved in nature. This opportunity allowed local Latino youth to observe the wildlife we share in our area as well as to learn about current conservation issues and the importance of not disturbing wildlife.
I had 11 kids show up for the event from ages 8-14. For most of these kids, it was there first time kayaking and they were very excited. We had an experienced guide from Bureau of Land Management and Monterey Bay Kayaks as well as a volunteer guide from Elkhorn Slough Reserve. Both guides are very knowledgeable regarding the wildlife and natural history of Elkhorn Slough. The kids learned a lot and enjoyed their time in the water, even though we were kayaking against the increasing tide and windy weather. I also had other adults attend the event to pair up in tandem kayaks with the kids, and the adults had fun as well.
It was very fulfilling to be able to share the outdoors together and teach kids about the importance of conserving the environment and wildlife. I look forward to continue to participate in these events going forward.