Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 1989 to educate the public about how wetlands can be used to treat wastewater. Our first task was to help raise money to build the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center, which houses interpretive displays and hosts educational events. The Interpretive Center was dedicated in 1993.
Today, we continue our educational support of the Arcata Marsh. We train volunteers to staff the Interpretive Center on weekends, and to lead weekly and special-request group tours, and develop and fund indoor and outdoor educational exhibits — all responsibilities described in our bylaws. Look for FOAM Roving Naturalists walking or biking the marsh trails, in FOAM vests, to answer questions and point out natural and historic events.
FOAM, in conjunction with the City of Arcata, funded the materials, plants, and signage for the Native Plant Garden that landscapes the entrance to the Interpretive Center, and FOAM volunteers built and maintain it.
In addition, FOAM distributes a quarterly newsletter, publishes Marsh-related books and checklists, underwrites college-level research grants, funds awards at the county science fair, sponsors a children’s bird art contest, staffs booths at community events, and offers nature craft activities
FOAM supports itself through donations, membership fees, merchandise sales, and the time and enthusiasm of our volunteers.
The Board of Directors meets at the Interpretive Center at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. Meetings are open to the public. Elections for up to 11 directors, who serve 3-year terms, are held in September and announced at the annual lunch/meeting for members and volunteers in late September/early October. There, we honor exceptional volunteers, present FOAM’s annual report and meet and greet the people who have kept FOAM and its mission thriving for over 25 years: our members and volunteers.
Board of Directors
David Couch Vice President
Elliott Dabill President
Sue Leskiw Treasurer (ex officio)