CALIPATRIAÂ â€“ From Jan. 14th through March 14th, an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team, known as Green Two, will serve at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is home to as many as 427 different species of migrating birds and plays a vital role in maintaining a vibrant ecosystem in the area.
The mission of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Â The refuge enriches the surrounding communities by hosting educational events, working with hunters, and providing protected places in nature for all ages to appreciate. It draws avid bird watchers from all over to see pelicans, egrets, and other animals. Keep an eye out for the shy owls that can be found on the refuge.
Green Two, an 11-member team, is removing screwbean mesquites, a non-native plant that has been struggling to survive the arid climate. The screwbean mesquites will be replaced with native plants more likely to thrive in the area and will provide richer habitats. The team is also helping with signage on the sea and around the expanding mud pots in the area to protect wildlife and visitors alike. In addition, the team is building steps up to the peak of Rock Hill, one of the four volcanic buttes in the area, which overlooks the Salton Sea.
The team is eager to leave their mark on the community. Corps member McKenzie Dunlap says, â€œThis is an excellent opportunity to expand our skillsets and learn about the issues affecting the Salton Sea and the surrounding area. Weâ€™re excited to engage with the community and make a difference that will positively affect community members, as well as the many species that consider the Salton Sea home.â€