The Watershed Project is a non-profit organization based in Richmond, California that focuses on the well-being and connectivity of watersheds as well as the people who live within them. One of their projects works with neighbors and other volunteers to construct a series of rain gardens along the Richmond Greenway adjacent to the San Francisco Bay. The Watershed Project received a grant from the Schwemm Family Foundation in 2015 to support the construction of one of these rain gardens and completed the work this fall.
The California Native Plant Society – CNPS – has been protecting native plant species in California since 1965. Conservation efforts for plants and animals nearly always requires protecting and enhancing habitat, and increasing urbanization is a primary threat to plant habitats in California. In 2018 the Schwemm Foundation assisted CNPS in publishing a special edition of their publication Fremontia that focused on the importance of protecting open space areas near human population centers, sites often referred to as the urban-wildland interface.
Seven species of abalone, large mollusks also known as sea snails, occur in California and along the Pacific coast. White and black abalone are listed as endangered, while pink, pinto, and green abalone are species of conservation concern. Though adult abalone have large shells and are attached to the ocean floor, baby abalone (larvae) are free floating in ocean waters and at high risk from predation and other threats, and few survive to settle and mature.
Project Coyote works to promote co-existence between humans and wild predators. One of Project Coyote’s most successful programs, Ranching with Wildlife, aims to assist ranchers with employing non-lethal means of predator deterrence for livestock protection. A number of scientifically-based and cost-effective methods have proven successful, including the use of trained dogs to protect sheep.
The Truckee River watershed drains over 3,000 square miles, and includes pristine but also highly developed lands. Every fall season the Truckee River Watershed Council organizes Truckee River Day, where over 400 volunteers participate in projects that help protect the resources within the watershed.