The Friends of the Arcata Marsh (FOAM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It was founded in 1989 with its primary objective to advance the scientific knowledge and the education of the public concerning alternative treatment and reuse of wastewater. Training and supervising docents, sponsoring public lectures, developing exhibits, and maintaining a library were specific tasks listed in the original bylaws.
A first task of the organization was to help raise money to build the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center, which was dedicated on May 25, 1993. When it first opened, interpretive center hours were 1-5 p.m. on weekends.
Today, FOAM continues to serve as the educational support for the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary, raising awareness about wetlands, wildlife, and wastewater treatment by educating the public about the ecological benefits of wastewater used in a wetlands system. FOAM supports itself through donations, membership fees, and the time and enthusiasm of volunteers. Funds go to support community and educational projects, build educational displays for the interpretive center, and provide tours and talks at the Marsh.
The FOAM Board of Directors meets at the interpretive center on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Members of the public are welcome to attend. As many as 11 directors are elected to three-year terms, for a maximum of two consecutive terms. Directors elect a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer when needed. Elections to the board are held each August/September and results are announced at an annual meeting where the annual report is presented. In recent years, Volunteer of the Year awards also have been presented at the annual meeting.
Click here for a historical list of FOAM Board Members.