This year San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex welcomed me as their first Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) intern.
Previously having had the opportunity to work with this team, I have seen the recent efforts and successes they have gained in reaching out to Asian and Latino(x) communities. The complex comprises seven different refuges with neighboring communities as diverse at the wildlife that resides at each of them. We have marine, wetland, sand dune, coastal live oak woodland, riparian woodland, coniferous forest, and coastal grassland habitats across the complex that benefit both wildlife and people. Only three of the seven refuges are open to the public and have recreational opportunities you can enjoy. While the other refuges are extra sensitive to human activity, so they remain closed to the public.
The world is currently still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic but in my role as an Environmental Education Coordinator, I was still able to be an effective team player working remotely. Coming in a week before Latino Conservation Week we went straight to work on our social media outreach. We took an opportunity to engaged with our audiences using a platform our complex had not used before. The Urban Ranger for our complex Miguel Marquez and I highlighted Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR as the first and largest Urban Wildlife Refuge in the country. We appeared on the US FWS Instagram account for Latino Conservation week and now are part of the Fieldtrip! highlights.
We coordinated how to guide our audience and introduce them to a salt marsh habitat while still maintaining an exciting script with a witty twist in the filming direction. Once it was posted we had great feedback not only from the region but also from HQ in DC, as the most interactive story they had during LCW. Having the opportunity to introduce our refuge in a fun and educational light to an audience that may not know us yet was an incredible experience.
Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Program: US Fish & Wildlife Service
Location: San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex