What We Do: Goals and Mission
Due to their charisma, river otters are important ambassadors for watershed conservation. Their recent return to our local Bay Area watersheds is a sign of environmental success and a reason for faith in the efficacy of restoration efforts. Launched in 2012, ROEP is the first and only organization in Central California to research and link river otter population recovery to watershed health and conservation.
Our mission is to illustrate the linkages between the recovery of local river otter populations and healthy watersheds, and foster public and organizational participation in restoration and conservation.
Through research, we are determining the conservation status, ecology and basic health information for river otter populations in the San Francisco Bay Area. This information will help inform conservation strategies. Our educational initiatives and broad grassroots partnerships actively engage the public and organizations in their protection, through citizen science and field-research opportunities, environmental outreach and education.
We believe that leveraging the charisma of these fascinating predators will help us ensure the health of Bay Area watersheds for generations to come.
What We Do: Citizen Science
The Citizen Science “Otter Spotter” program, designed to track and document river otter recovery in all sections of SF Bay Area watersheds (please see Otter Spotter map). Prior to this initiative, agency maps showed no river otters in most Bay Area counties. As of 2017, we’ve received more than 2000 sightings, including all Bay Area counties with the exception of San Mateo.
Please see our publication: Return of North American River Otters, Lontra canadensis, to Coastal Habitats of the San Francisco Bay Area, California - Northwestern Naturalist, 96(1):1-12.
What We Do: Education
Education for adults and children on the importance of watershed health, using river otters as ambassadors, with the goal of helping support restoration and conservation of wetlands and watersheds. Education includes classroom presentations, field trips, tabling at environmental events and public presentations for adults and children. Please see Events for upcoming dates.
Hands-on High School Monitoring: Offers high school students the opportunity to learn science and field-science concepts, teamwork, communications while expanding ROEP’s monitoring sites. Students and teachers monitor a camera site and collect and document all the data and samples collected by our adult site volunteers.
Who We Are: