Advocacy group looking to empower local stewards of salmon habitat

Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group is offering a free training program.

Applications are now being accepted for Community Action Training School (CATS), a free program that aims to empower community members with a passion for salmon to become effective stewards of local streams. The program is run through Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group.

This 5-month course includes 8 classroom sessions and 3 field trips exploring the scientific, social, cultural, and political issues relevant to salmon recovery – including watershed health, native plants, salmon habitat needs, policy and more – and supports participants in the design and implementation of stewardship action projects in their hyperlocal watershed.

Throughout the course, participants will learn directly from local community members, non-profit organizations, and government groups about the work they are doing to make our communities a healthy place for salmon and people.

“From the first session I knew that the CATS student group included individuals with inspiring and relevant experience as well as real commitment to leverage ongoing interest through this course to develop even more effective knowledge and skills,” said Al Snapp, 2022 CATS graduate. “My interest was initially connected with the Edmonds Marsh and efforts to restore both the habitat and the creeks supplying the Marsh. After a couple of CATS lessons and the first of several extremely valuable field trips, my understanding of habitat needs, estuary restoration and a broad range of data and methods related to salmon habitat recovery was impressively expanded.”

Applications for this free program are due April 26, 2023.

“We are thrilled to once again work with enthusiastic community members who are dedicated to being changemakers,” says Sarah Heerhartz, Executive Director of Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group. “Protecting and restoring our rivers and natural areas requires many partners–from national governments to local ones, from nonprofit organizations to responsible businesses–and including people from all walks of life. I have seen how passionate individuals play a critical role in watershed health and salmon recovery – from restoring their local parks to holding elected officials accountable.”

Heerhartz said Community Action Training School helps people focus their passions and interests and knits them into closer connection with likeminded people in their communities, creating projects that make a lasting difference and watershed advocates that have the support to sustain long-term work in their local communities.

CATS is funded by the King County Flood Control District and WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Board, with support from the King County Library System as well.