Your monthly update from SPAWN

September Newsletter

Summer has been an exciting season for SPAWN! As we transition to fall the momentum will continue as we start growing gardens at local schools, prepare the native plant nursery for incoming rain, and complete the second part of our largest habitat restoration project yet! 

VIDEO: Floodplain Restoration Featured on NBC

In case you missed it: NBC Bay Area covered our Coho salmon habitat restoration project on Lagunitas Creek during their six-o-clock news this month.The project aims to recover a lost floodplain that has been buried under dirt that was dumped in the creek corridor decades ago to build the village of Jewel, and will improve habitat for other threatened species like the California red-legged frog and California freshwater shrimp. 

SPAWN Welcomes New Watershed Biologist

SPAWN is excited to welcome Ayano Hayes to our team! Ayano joins us as Watershed Biologist and will be assisting with our habitat restoration programs. Ayano graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2017 with a double major in environmental science and psychology. She just completed her second year as an AmeriCorps Watershed Steward with Point Reyes National Seashore and has a strong background in wildlife monitoring including salmonids, California freshwater shrimp, spotted owls, tule elk, elephant seals, and amphibians. She has also led environmental education and outreach programs. Welcome, Ayano!

SPAWN Joins Global Climate Week of Action!

Students and working people around the world are set to take to the streets during a global week of action to demand ambitious commitments on climate action from governments at the UN Climate Summit on Sept. 23. In solidarity with millions of people around the world, SPAWN is hosting a week of opportunities to demand transformative action be taken to address the climate crisis. The full list of events being organized during the week of action is available on our Event Calendar. Scientists agree that we have about 10 years to save our communities, future generations, and the planet from extreme natural disasters, and our hands-on, restorative projects offer direct ways to combat climate change and its impacts. 

"From Ghost Town to Restored Salmon Habitat" 

Join us at Samuel P. Taylor State Park for "From Ghost Town to Restored Salmon Habitat" on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 8-9pm to learn about the work we're doing to restore the Lagunitas Creek watershed! The town of Jewel was once home to half a dozen vacation cabins built on the Lagunitas Creek floodplain in the 1930s and 40s. The town has since fallen into disrepair. Thanks to our restoration efforts, the area is now being returned to its natural state. Hear about how we're reconnecting the floodplain with the creek and rebuilding creekside habitat that is so critical for Central California's endangered Coho salmon. This is a free, ADA friendly event. (There is a park entrance fee of $8.) 

Suit Launched to Save Green Sea Turtle Habitat

Several environmental groups including Turtle Island Restoration Network filed a notice of intent to sue the federal government in August for failing to protect green sea turtle habitat, which faces threats from sea-level rise, plastic pollution and warming. “The Trump administration’s moral and legal attacks on our country’s greatest achievements extend all the way to the gentle and defenseless sea turtles that are guaranteed protection under the Endangered Species Act,” said Todd Steiner, biologist and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network.

TAKE ACTION for Salmon: Save the ESA

We are in the midst of an unprecedented global extinction crisis, with the potential for one million species to go extinct by the end of the century. Yet this past month the Trump administration finalized regulations that effectively eviscerate the Endangered Species Act, or ESA, threatening the survival of our nation's most imperiled species. We must act now to save the ESA, a critical lifeline for thousands of species like Coho salmon. Please write to your members of Congress, and urge them to push back against the Trump administration's gutting by passing additional legislation to restore the Endangered Species Act.

New Internship Opportunities at TIRN!

Turtle Island Restoration Network has several new internship opportunities! The internship program is more than an opportunity to work at an award-winning marine wildlife protection and advocacy nonprofit organization. Our programs foster skill development within many areas of interest including habitat restoration, plant ecology, communications and political science, and engage participants in a variety of tasks to support the larger organizational goals. Every intern leaves the experience with a depth of insight into the way a non-profit functions and a diverse skill set in environmental conservation and advocacy.

Volunteers Needed to Carry Newts to Safety

Be part of the first-ever effort in California to carry newts to safety! Laguna Lake, a large natural lake in the agricultural section of West Marin, is bordered by Chileno Valley Road, which cuts newts off from the leaf littered, shady hillside where they live during the summer. When the weather turns humid and drizzly in the fall, the newts venture onto the road, putting themselves in the path of cars and trucks. The Chileno Valley Newt Brigade's simple, low-cost solution to the newt's plight is having people pick them up and carry them across the road. However, many more volunteers are needed for this task. If you are interested in carrying newts to safety this winter, join us at a training seminar at Chileno Valley Ranch on Oct. 10 at 5:30pm. Click here for more information and to RSVP. 

Photo of the Month: North American River Otter

Our restoration projects throughout Marin County are teeming with wildlife, and we want to share what we've been seeing! Habitat Restoration Intern Savannah Mangold captured a family of otters from a trail camera located at our Jewel restoration project. North America River Otters (Lontra canadensis) are members of the weasel family and hunt at night for fish, amphibians, turtles, and crayfish. For more wildlife shots and updates from our trailcams, follow SPAWN on Facebook

Volunteer Days & Events

SPAWN offers many opportunities for individuals and groups to help with protecting endangered Coho salmon in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please join us!

  • Saturday, Sept. 21: Clean Up Creeks for Coho. Join SPAWN on International Coastal Cleanup Day to walk the Cross Marin Trail and the edge of Lagunitas Creek in Samuel P. Taylor State Park picking up trash and debris. Meet at 9am at the Samuel P. Taylor Azalea picnic area by first set of bathrooms just beyond the entrance kiosk. (Park entrance fee will be waived for Coastal Cleanup Volunteers.)  Materials are provided, but you can help us reduce waste by bringing a bucket, reusable bags, and reusable gloves with you for the Cleanup. Wear boots or shoes that can get dirty. There will be a free BBQ at noon.​​
  • Saturday, Sept. 28: Restoration Volunteer Day. Join local community members, staff, and interns at our Lagunitas Creek restoration site between 10am and 2pm, on Saturday, Sept. 28! We will be working together to water native plants and remove invasive species, restoring critical habitat for Coho salmon. Please pack something to eat and join us for lunch after we’ve finished working. Tea and coffee will be provided. If you are interested in helping us restore habitat, please RSVP to Preston at​​
  • Saturday, Sept. 28: From Ghost Town to Restored Salmon Habitat. Get an in-depth look into how SPAWN's current restoration project is restoring the Lagunitas Creek Watershed! Hear about how we’re reconnecting the floodplain with the creek and rebuilding creekside habitat that is so critical for Central California’s endangered Coho salmon. Join Preston Brown, Director of Watershed Conservation, and Harry McGrath, Outreach Coordinator, as they discuss how SPAWN is restoring this watershed.
  • Thursday, Oct. 10: Chileno Valley Newt Brigade Training. On Oct. 10 at 5:30PM, a training seminar will be held at Chileno Valley Ranch to help prevent newts from being killed while crossing Chileno Valley Road on their migration path. This is the first-ever effort in California to carry newts to safety!
  • Every Friday: Nursery Volunteer Day. Join local community members, staff, and interns in our native plant nursery between 10am and 1pm every Friday! We will be working together to grow, tend and care for native plants used to restore Coho salmon habitat in Lagunitas Creek. Please pack something to eat and join us for lunch after we’ve finished working. Tea and coffee will be provided. For questions or to RSVP, contact Audrey at

Join Our Network


Salmon Protection And Watershed Network
A program of Turtle Island Restoration Network
PO Box 370, Forest Knolls, CA 94933

415.663.8590 .