Today, Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Chris Mobley celebrate their annual volunteer recognition event.
In 2013, there were 1,154 volunteers who donated 73,812 hours to the national park and national marine sanctuary, the equivalent of 35 full-time positions.
These volunteers come from all walks of life to contribute a wide variety of skilled work. They include engineers, educators, students, and retirees who work on boats, building and trail maintenance, and research, education, and restoration projects.
Prominent among the awards this year is recognition of Joanne Daft, a volunteer who has been working at the national park visitor center each week for the past 20 years. Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau said, “Joanne’s volunteer service is emblematic of the enduring support our community provides to the park and sanctuary.”
Equally impressive is the fact that seven volunteers will be acknowledged for contributing over 15 years of service and 18 individuals are credited with volunteering for over 10 years.
Three Channel Islands Naturalist Corps (CINC) members, Joel Justin, Catherine French, and Marty Flam, have each donated nearly a half- time position logging over 1,000 hours this past year. Volunteers with CINC, a joint park and sanctuary program, provide education on whale watch trips, island hikes and at community events.
Drew Picard will receive the CINC Blue Whale Award for his outstanding support in community outreach. “Despite his full time job, Drew is one of our most dedicated volunteers. His invaluable work for the national marine sanctuary and national park has gone a long way in helping to ensure their protection for future generations,” said Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Chris Mobley.
Channel Islands Live volunteers, a dedicated team that collectively has donated almost 50 years of volunteer service, will be awarded for their talents in presenting distance learning education programs for the national park. Honorees include Bill Kendig, Andrea Mills, Staci Kaye-Carr, Dave Stoltz, Vahagn Nahabedian and Joe Wysocki.
Employees from local biotechnology company Amgen will be recognized for their help restoring native plant communities on Anacapa Island and for cosponsoring an annual coastal cleanup event.