By Carmen Sepetka, Wildlife Supervisor
Announcing the recipients of our annual conservation grant program
CuriOdyssey’s Conservation Department has expanded its grant partnership reach this year. The Conservation Partner program is designed to support organizations whose programs align with CuriOdyssey’s mission and core values. We are thrilled to be connecting with nine partners this year, eight domestic and one international. We may be a small facility, but our conservation vision is mighty! We are proud to support the incredible work of our Conservation Partners.
Below is a map connecting this year’s partners to our broader conservation community goals as well as brief descriptions of their ongoing work. Find out more about our Conservation Department and partner program on our website!
About our conservation grant partners
Sloppy Seconds Inc. is a nonprofit in Hayward that promotes responsible pet ownership and provides a forever home for unadoptable animals. The president, Kelli, also facilitates local organizations in networking for emergency animal placement and support. Sloppy Seconds Inc. brings animals to visit schools and welcomes volunteers onsite. They engage their surrounding community and educate to improve human-wildlife coexistence.
Save the Bay funds field trips to shoreline sites for Bay Area youth, 70% of whom are underserved. They increase access to outdoor education by covering transportation costs and facilitating interactive habitat restoration activities. Save the Bay incorporates storytelling and games alongside core scientific concepts to inspire a connection with the Bay and a desire to protect it.
The Desert Tortoise Conservancy increases public awareness of Desert tortoise population decline and aims to ensure the preservation of the Mojave Desert Tortoise. Their strategy centers on building awareness through childhood education in California, teaching youth about the many actions they can take to safeguard species survival. CuriOdyssey currently houses two desert tortoises, Antiguo and Spork.
Coral Restoration Foundation™ restores coral reefs, educates others on the importance of our oceans, and uses science to further coral research and coral reef monitoring techniques. They engage the public through dive and snorkel programs and offer STEAM-based presentations to students of all ages. Their immersive internships cultivate ocean ambassadors who help spread awareness about the significance of individual impact and solutions for habitat loss.
Bill Leikam at the Urban Wildlife Research Project (UWRP) documents Gray fox behavior in the Palo Alto Baylands regions. UWRP helps the San Francisco Bay Area through research, advocacy, and public education to establish healthy habitats and convey the needs of urban wildlife to government officials, land managers, and community members.
The River Otter Ecology Project is a grassroots community science project that promotes watershed conservation and a greater understanding of river otter habitats throughout California. Otter Spotters provided data that was instrumental to updating the California Department of Fish and Wildlife otter range map, which in turn positively impacts resource management practices. Their Otter Ambassadors educate community members about ethical viewing and photography practices and promote environmental stewardship.
Raptors Are The Solution (RATS) is a public education organization that promotes awareness of the effects of rat poison on the food web. Their goal is to support healthy ecosystems by eradicating rodenticides from the environment and sharing information about the ecological role of birds of prey and predatory wildlife. RATS invests in community education and advances advocacy efforts, facilitating involvement in relevant legislation. CuriOdyssey contributed to their newest billboard; you can see it on Highway 101 near Rohnert Park.
Felidae Fund has been one of CuriOdyssey’s Conservation Partners since 2014. Felidae Fund monitors wild felids (bobcats, mountain lions) and their prey (mule deer) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their research and conservation work explores the influence of human activity on puma populations that live at the urban edge. Felidae Fund also educates local communities about the dangers of rodenticides and helps prevent misinformation about mountain lion populations.
FOECOE is CuriOdyssey’s first international Conservation Partner! We are thrilled to form a connection with this organization based out of Tanzania. FOECOE is a women-led nonprofit whose mission is to improve the well-being of people, animals, and environments through education and community-based projects. CuriOdyssey’s community and FOECOE’s students will be piloting a pen pal program to exchange conservation-themed art and correspondence.