Amigos Field Trip and Volunteers of the Year
By Kim DiPasquale

2020 Volunteers of the YearFrom left: Sharon Von Dollen, Kim DiPasquale
and Cat Navetta at the annual volunteer
appreciation recognition event. Photo by
Thomas Anderson.
On January 25, 2020, a group of eighteen Amigos met at the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Reserve for a guided tour of the extraordinary 965 acre salt marsh and upland habitat which is located entirely within the boundaries of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. The refuge is a remnant marsh of the Anaheim Bay estuary and is jointly managed by the Department of the Navy and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Upon arrival we were greeted by Marty Golden, a retired marine biologist and former Amigos de Bolsa Chica Board member. We were then divided into several groups and led on a five station tour which included an excellent and informative movie about the history and restoration of the marsh, a marine biology station led by Marty, a bird station, an ecology and endangered species station, and a walk through a lush and well appointed California native plant garden. Tours at this reserve are limited and must be scheduled well in advance so we all felt fortunate to have this opportunity and to be able to make the comparison between this salt marsh and our beloved Bolsa Chica.

After our departure, the group met for our annual volunteer appreciation lunch at the Taco Surf restaurant on PCH where we enjoyed delicious Mexican food and great conversation in a fun atmosphere decorated in a south of the border beach theme. In the past, just one volunteer has been recognized for this award but this year it was impossible to choose just one. Kat Navetta, Sharon Von Dollen, and Karen Belville all received awards for their outstanding leadership skills, for their continued willingness to help and share their knowledge, and for their genuine love for nature. All three have brought great energy and enthusiasm to our FLOW program and wetland tours and we are thankful and appreciative for everything they have done and continue to do for the Amigos de Bolsa Chica and for our community. We are very honored to have them represent our organization.