Five California tribes will reclaim their right to manage coastal land significant to their history under a first-in-the-nation program backed with $3.6 million in state money.
The tribes will rely on their traditional knowledge to protect more than 200 miles of coastline in the state, as climate change and human activity have impacted the vast area.
Some of the tribes’ work will include monitoring salmon after the removal of a century-old defunct dam in the redwood forests in the Santa Cruz mountains and testing for toxins in shellfish, while also educating future generations on traditional practices.
Valentin Lopez, chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, which is part of the network, said climate change has forced governments with a history of exploiting Indigenous lands to acknowledge tribes’ deep-rooted knowledge of protecting ecosystems.
“We’re in the crisis mode,” he said.
Learn more about the Tribal Marine Stewards Network…