The students at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, California, have stepped up to save endangered coho salmon.
In 1993, the school built a large hatchery on campus, where students typically raise steelhead trout. Because of California's drought, the water became too warm for 4,000 endangered coho salmon at a Lake Sonoma hatchery, and they were moved to Casa Grande, where the tanks can be kept at an optimal temperature for the fish.
Manfred Kittel of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told The San Francisco Chronicle he was impressed by the quality of the program and "professionalism" of science teacher Dan Hubacker, who oversees the hatchery, and his students. Before students are allowed to participate in the program, they must take a conservation and biology class and pass two safety tests. It's a full-time job taking care of the fish, with students coming in on the weekends to feed them.
This is the first time Casa Grande has had the chance to rescue an endangered species, and the students are up for the challenge. "We have this opportunity to save coho salmon, to see that we can do it, if people put their minds to it," Kate Carlson, 17, told the Chronicle.