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SPAWN | Turtle Island Restoration Network eNewsletter

Salmon Victory - Smolt Update - New WebsiteSalmon Restoration ProjectsSPAWN Wish List  

APRIL 2014

Salmon Victory: Marin County Plan Ruled Unlawful

This spring, Turtle Island's Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) won a legal battle with the County of Marin to protect the last population of wild California coho coastal salmon.

In a unanimous decision, the California Court of Appeals affirmed SPAWN’s position that Marin County failed to do proper environmental analysis when it approved its 2007 Countywide Plan, which allowed significant future development along salmon-bearing streams, and unlawfully determined that those impacts would be less than significant.

“It's a damn shame that the Marin Supervisors have wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and years of inaction defending an indefensible and environmentally harmful position instead of working with SPAWN to take common-sense actions to save these endangered fish for the public good,” said Todd Steiner, wildlife biologist and executive director of Turtle Island's SPAWN program. Read more →


Salmon Have Hatched!

In the last few days, baby steelhead have emerged from the gravel and can be seen in San Geronimo Valley creeks.  So far, the SPAWN Research and Monitoring team have found steelhead "fry" in San Geronimo, Arroyo and Montezuma Creeks.  We have not seen any coho salmon fry yet.

Coho and Steelhead "smolts" (fish that hatched 12 to 17 months ago and are now about 6" long) are starting their migration to the ocean.  We have seen small numbers of both species in San Geronimo Creek, Arroyo Creek and Larsen Creek.

Fish Count

(No sign of smolting)


(Silver color, some loose scales, faint parr marks)

(All silver, loose scales, clear fins)

Coho Salmon 2 15 3 0
Steelhead Trout 5 35 3 763

*Data as of April 11, 2014. 

In the coming weeks, we will provide more data on numbers of fish in these three creeks. 'LIKE' us on Facebook to get the latest information and see more photos! 

Smolt trapping is done seven days a week by staff, interns and volunteers. We'd love to have your help and are always looking for more volunteers.  Please contact Preston Brown at preston@tirn.net or 415-663-8590 ext. 111 to find out more and get involved.

New Action-Oriented Website 

Turtle Island Restoration Network is proud to announce the rollout of our new, visually stunning website – SeaTurtles.OrgSPAWNusa.Org now redirects to the new website, which makes taking action to protect our blue-green planet even easier!

The new functional design brings together all of Turtle Island’s programs – from our work in West Marin restoring creek side habitat for endangered salmon to our work in Galveston, Texas monitoring sea turtle nesting beaches – in one easy to use website. SPAWNusa.Org is now incorporated into the organization's entire website.

Though our look and style may be new, our overall vision remains the same: to respond rapidly to environmental threats to our oceans, streams and marine wildlife.

Please take a moment to explore SeaTurtles.Org and take action to save salmon. If you are able, make a $60 donation and we will thank you with a Turtle Island hat!

Coho Salmon Restoration Projects in Marin Move Forward

Turtle Island’s SPAWN program received two significant grants for salmon protection projects.The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program announced 2014 funding totaling $525,307 for four projects all located in West Marin’s critical Lagunitas Watershed. 

The first project will focus on designing an improved fish migration passage at Roy’s Pools and the second will involve working with Point Reyes National Seashore to develop a restoration and enhancement plan for a mile-long stretch of stream just west of Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

"We are elated to get the opportunity to improve this habitat for the benefit of endangered coho salmon and the American people, who are the owners of our National Park Service lands,” said Turtle Island's Executive Director Todd Steiner. Read more →

SPAWN Wish List

Our dedicated staff, interns and team of hard-working volunteers could use the following items to help with native habitat restoration and salmon protection projects:

  • 1 Weed Whacker 
  • 1 Pickup Truck

If you can help by making a donation please contact Preston Brown at preston@tirn.net or call (415) 663-8590 ext. 111. Your donations may be tax-deductible. 

Support Us

SPAWN defends endangered wild California coho salmon and restores native creekside landscapes to create healthier streams. Show your support by making a donation today!

Volunteer for Marin Earth Day

Join us for a special restoration work day in celebration of Earth Day from 10 am – 2 pm. Bring your friends, co-workers and neighbors - together we can restore our environment for the benefit of salmon and communities! Please RSVP at preston@tirn.net or 415-663-8590 ext. 111.
Learn more →

California Naturalist

California Naturalist Program

Discovery, Stewardship, Action!

The California Naturalist program teaches aspiring naturalists the skills they need to contribute to helping preserve and protect habitats across the Golden State. Naturalist projects have restored creek habitat, created new educational materials, and provided valuable scientific data in the San Geronimo Valley, helping endangered coho. Entering its third year, the more than forty California Naturalists certified in our program have contributed over 900 volunteer service hours!
Read more & Register →

Join our Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Team!

Join us every Friday from 10 am - 1 pm to work in our native plant nursery! Volunteers will help collect and sow seeds, propagate seedlings and maintain plants. Volunteering with SPAWN is a great way to get involved, meet new people and have fun outside. Please RSVP at preston@tirn.net or at (415) 663-8590 ext.111.

Redwood Tree Growth Study

Residential Intern William Bone led a study comparing methods of growing coastal redwood tree saplings (Sequoia sempervirens). Former Residential Intern Ryan Hegstad contributed to the project. These saplings are used by SPAWN for native plant restoration projects in California. The study is still ongoing, but so far William has grown 340 redwood seedlings and saplings since January!


Help us protect marine wildlife, wild oceans, and our backyard rivers and streams!
Find internships →

Bio Blitz 2014 

This month Turtle Island was part of the Biodiversity Festival put on by National Geographic and National Park Service at Crissy Field in San Francisco, Calif. Thousands of students and community members stopped by our booth to learn about our work and participate in fun educational activities. Students drew pictures of coho salmon and learned about their migration route.

Parting Shot

Sixth-grade students from Montessori de Terra Linda Middle School along with their teacher, Micah Lewis, had some hands-on fun with the smolting salmonids of the Lagunitas Watershed this month!


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SeaTurtles.Org | Mailing Address: PO BOX 370, Forest Knolls, CA 94933 | Phone: (415) 663-8590