The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) was formed by holding a series of community meetings in the Eel River Basin, in early September 2011, focused on toxic algae and public health. These meetings were made possible by a grant from the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation administered by the Trees Foundation in Garberville. The forums in Fortuna, Redway and Willits were attended by over 125 people and were professionally facilitated so that community input could be recorded (see Forum Minutes).
Attendees were alarmed by what they heard about developing toxic algae conditions in the South Fork, Van Duzen and lower mainstem Eel River and immediately began to brainstorm how to organize the community to help stop this problem.
At the forums, dozens of people volunteered to monitor the Eel River and its tributaries. Many offered access to their property for monitoring. The ERRP Advisory Group is comprised of committed volunteers, including natural resource professionals. In October 2011, this group went into retreat at Emandal on the upper Eel River and developed a course of action (see Action Plan). The ERRP plan is to write grants, win contracts or directly solicit monetary support from the community to implement project elements.
Working sub-committees are open to expanding participation, so if you want to get involved and help the Eel River recover, there are many avenues. These are the are action items that have working sub-committees:
Cooperation and Coordination with Agencies and Tribes
Education Projects for local schools
Citizen Assisted Monitoring of Water Quality
Boating Events/Trash Cleanup