Rotary Projects Around the Globe
by Brad Webber
Herring are food for salmon, halibut, lingcod, seabirds, and orcas and other marine mammals, and are a traditional staple of First Nations tribes’ diet. But herring populations are in decline because of overfishing and the degradation of preferred egg-laying surfaces such as kelp fronds and eelgrass. In February, Rotarian “sea foresters” in British Columbia dropped herring curtains into Porpoise Bay, northwest of Vancouver. The curtains — heavy-duty landscape fabric cut to lengths of about 8 feet, floated with foam and nylon rope or PVC pipe, and anchored with rocks — are ideal surfaces for the fish’s eggs. Since 2020, nearly 30 volunteers have installed more than 100 curtains and returned weekly to monitor them through the spawning cycle. Six Rotary clubs are participating in the project, led by the Rotary Club of Sechelt.
Public safety in Cali has improved since the mid-1990s, when drug cartels lorded over the city. The Rotaract Club of Cali-Norte is promoting peace and conflict resolution through its Re-Créate initiative, “a social and psychoeducational intervention project” involving role-playing, discussions, arts and crafts, music, and athletics at a local school, says Diana Rivera, immediate past president of the club. Since 2017, hundreds of children have participated in the program, which covers social topics such as bullying, setting personal boundaries, and team building. “We make two visits per semester on Saturdays,” Rivera says of the initiative. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has sidelined a popular soccer tournament fundraiser, individual donors, raffle proceeds, and other initiatives have filled the gap as the club works to enhance Re-Créate with digital offerings.