Monday, January 12, 2009


Mendocino High Schools Sonar class has been actively involved in community work for many years. Sonar participates with its youthful energy to restore property within the community and bring awareness to local environmental issues. One such project which they are working on currently is bringing awareness to the declining salmon population in Little North Fork of Big River. Unlike the previous year’s larger Sonar class, the size of Mendocino’s precious environmental class has shrunk to a small group of eight students. Regardless of the size, these students have been working arduously to give back to the community.

In late 2008, part of Big River Haul Road started to erode into the Big River estuary. This problem was due to lack of vegetation to hold the soil together . The landslide soil mixed with the estuary water and contaminated the estuary by increasing the amount of soil in the water. This was greatly disruptive to the underwater ecosystem. Therefore, Mendocino Fish and Game Department decided to tackle the issue. Along with students from Ukiah and Fort Bragg, our Sonar class planted 3-5 year old Dougls Fir Trees along Big River Haul Road. With support and help from the community members and students, Fish and Game managed to plant over 200 trees.

Sonar has been working on counting salmon population up at Little North Fork of Big River for the last two months and has had success in finding yoy(Young Of the Year) and redds(salmon nests) along the paths of the beautiful redwood forests. During the hatching and reproduction periods, Sonar students have been collecting sample data to examine and compare differences in a majority of species, sizes, and populations.

As the year progresses and new upcoming environmental issues arise, Mendocino High School’s Sonar class continues to contribute their experience and knowledge to the community. Its two enthusiatic teachers Robert Jamgochian and Doug Nunn are the driving forces behind the wonderful work that this class has accomplished.

By Jisu Youn and Caitlin Green

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jisou, The Big River Haul Road restoration project was funded by the Mendocino Land Trust's Big River program, not the California Department of Fish and Game. Participants in the project included SONAR, Fort Bragg Middle School students, Jughandle Farm staff, State Park's staff and the Big River Stewards.
Thanks, Matt