Donate Items to NERRA Auction Now!

Donate Items to NERRA Auction Now!

They’re baaaaaaaack! Our very own bidding bunch is back to make your auction experience more awesome than ever!

The NERRA auction is back, and we learned a few things last year. Now it’s even easier to donate, browse cool stuff, track bids, and—most of all—have fun! We are excited to kick off the first phase of our auction by accepting item donations on Auctria through October 22nd, with bidding kicking off on November 1st.

We’re counting on everyone to do what we NERRds do best—come together to make our System stronger! Last year’s incredible donations included adventurous trips, stylish fashions, sleek monitoring equipment, fun swag, and of course—the best sweets, treats, and snacks that our coasts have to offer. Get creative and have fun with your donations. No item is too NERRdy.

Check out NERRA’s auction page for more details, and look for updates in the weeks to come! The auction is NERRA’s only annual fundraiser, and vital to helping us support Reserves in what they do.

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Welcome, Amy!

Welcome, Amy!

Amy Wilcox is the new administrative officer for the Padilla Bay Foundation.

Please join NERRA in welcoming Amy Wilcox, the new administrative officer for Washington’s Padilla Bay Foundation. To her role, Amy brings more than twenty years of experience in nonprofit and governmental agencies, where she has worked to promote resource conservation, social justice, and access to education and the arts. 

“I’m excited to use my communications and fundraising skills to build on the great work at the Foundation and the Padilla Bay Reserve,” says Amy. “I’m from this area. The Reserve is a local gem that could use more attention. For me, this work is about legacy. I want to make sure the Reserve is here for a long, long time, keeping the estuary healthy and the people around it thriving.”

A previous role with the North Cascades Institute, a conservation education organization, used to bring Amy to the Reserve once a month for meetings. “It was always my favorite day of the month! I thought it was such a lovely place to get to work,” she says. “Now I’m here, and it’s kind of my dream job!”

When not working on causes she believes in, Amy enjoys paddling in the Salish Sea and running on trails. “I like to do whatever I can do outside,” she says.  

We hope you’ll take a moment to say hello. Amy, we’re so excited to have you join the community of Reserve Friends and Foundations—you’ll find they are as passionate about their Reserves as you are about Padilla Bay.

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Honoring True Friends

Honoring True Friends

Coastal communities depend on their local Reserves, and Reserves depend on their friends. In October, the Friends of Sapelo Island Reserve in Georgia held a small ceremony dedicating a restored beach pavilion to two true friends to the Reserve, Linda and J.D. Daniels. 

The Daniels were honored for more than 20 years of service to the Sapelo Island Reserve. Before stepping down last fall, Linda had served as the FOS volunteer coordinator for many of those 20 years.

 Sapelo Island Education Coordinator Adam Mackinnon observes: “It does not happen very often that one feels like you are taken into another person’s family, but I did with Linda and JD. They have been advisors and friends to me, and I certainly view them as family. ”

NERRA is grateful to Linda and JD for all they have contributed to the Sapelo Island Reserve, and for making every member of their local friends group feel welcome. Linda’s leadership as volunteer coordinator will be greatly missed, but we take comfort in the fact they will still be involved in Friends of Sapelo.

Winning Photos at Old Woman Creek

Winning Photos at Old Woman Creek

As part of their National Estuaries Week Celebration, the Friends of Old Woman Creek Reserve held a photo contest that showcased the beauty of their Reserve’s lands and waters, which remained open to the community as a safe natural place to visit throughout the year.

“The photo contest helped us to involve the community in appreciating the beauty of the Old Woman Creek NERR,” says Sandra Wright, director of the Friends of Old Woman Creek. “And it increased the participation of young people!”

We can’t think of a better way to ease in 2021 than this reminder of the estuarine beauty of the Great Lakes.

1st place, adult category: Mark Capucini

2nd Place, adult category: Bradley Winters

3rd Place, adult category: Mark Capucini

1st place, teen category: James Daneker

2nd place, teen category: Christina Edwards

3rd place, teen category: Faith Edwards

1st Place: Sunset by Ethan Edwards

2nd Place: Violet by Faith Edwards

3rd Place: My Little Friend by Faith Edwards

Rookery Bay Offers Nation’s Best Kayak Tours!

Rookery Bay Offers Nation’s Best Kayak Tours!

The Rookery Bay Reserve’s eco-tour program has snagged the #1 spot for best kayak tours in the nation! There’s a history of award winning here, with Rookery Bay earning a #1 spot on Trip Advisor and Best of the Gulf Shore for Water Sports Recreation. 

The Friends of Rookery Bay partner with Rising Tide Explorers on marketing, customer service, access, and providing educational training programs to Rising Tide staff, who in turn lead all tours and manage rentals.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” says Athan Barkoukis, director of the friends group. “This makes Rising Tide’s capacity that much greater, and we can educate more people while bringing in funding to support the Friends and Reserve.” 

Friends Help Young Scientists Launch Careers

Friends Help Young Scientists Launch Careers

The Friends or Oregon’s South Slough Reserve provide opportunities for young scientists like Kanoe Lizama (above) to get the experience they need to find jobs in environmental science. Photos courtesy Kanoe Lizama.

After Kanoelani (Kanoe) Lizama graduated from Colorado Mesa University with a degree in environmental science and technology, she was ready to put her education to work. When she started to look for a position, however, she found her degree was not enough for prospective employers who wanted candidates with relevant work experience. Then she discovered an internship opportunity sponsored by the Friends of South Slough Reserve.

“This position offered a range of hands on experience working directly with the Reserve’s research and monitoring staff, and so I applied without hesitation,” says Kanoe.

Kanoe became the 2018 System Wide Water Quality Monitoring Intern. She worked with South Slough Reserve staff Ali Helms and Adam DeMarzo on projects involving water quality, nutrients, and meteorological monitoring. She also assisted with the Reserve’s ocean acidification and Environmental DNA (eDNA) seining projects.


“The experience taught me useful skills for lab and field work, but the the biggest take away was understanding the impacts that estuaries such as South Slough face due to human and natural related causes, observes Kanoe. “We monitored native eelgrass, which has dramatically declined in the estuary over the past decade. There is a need for greater awareness in protecting natural resources in coastal areas.”

Kanoe had another big aha moment. Oregon is not only beautiful—it’s an interesting place to live and work.

“Being exposed to Oregon’s beautiful coastline and forests greatly influenced my recent move from Hawaii to Oregon,” she says. “This opportunity also allowed me to network with professionals in the environmental field and gave me a better understanding as to what their days look like—this helps me feel more comfortable as I continue to pursue this career.”

Friends also sponsored Real Time Kinetic/Geographic Information Systems Intern Alycia Lenzen, a graduate of Oregon State University in 2018. Alycia worked with Reserve staff Jenni Schmitt to collect marsh elevation data, conduct habitat mapping accuracy surveys, and establish benchmarks at restoration and monitoring sites.

South Slough Reserve staff and Friends are seeking funding for 2019 interns. Interested in helping young scientists launch their careers? Contact South Slough Reserve Public Involvement Coordinator Deborah Rudd: // 541.888.5558, ext. 158.