For the September meeting, we will have a very special guest speaker, Herman Garcia, President and founder of Coastal Habitat Education and Environmental Restoration

CHEER.

Herman grew up in Gilroy enjoying the outdoors and the fishing in Uvas Creek running through Gilroy. Herman remembers abundant Steelhead runs and catching Steelhead in all of the local tributary streams and Uvas Creek itself.

In 2004, Herman formed CHEER to begin work during time away from his job on reclamation and restoration of Uvas Creek for Steelhead. After retiring, he began working full time on CHEER activities with support of volunteers which includes trash clean-ups, pollution control, keeping the Flycasters built fish ladder clean, removing homeless from the watershed, stopping poaching, removing blockages to fish passage, an elementary school environmental education program, fish rescues and many other projects too numerous to mention all. In 2009, CHEER received the “Restorationist of the Year” award from the Salmonid Restoration Federation.

One of Herman’s most recent activities was the building of the Mobile Garbage Museum as an educational tool which Herman is taking to elementary schools in Gilroy and San Jose to teach kids the hazards of polluting the streams and environment with trash.

Herman and his CHEER group are doing the grueling work during long hard days in wet and cold to restore the Uvas Creek/Pajaro River watershed for steelhead. You will enjoy Herman’s animated speaking style and he will surely entertain you with his stories.

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