We kick off our 2013 Wetlands Alive! Tour season on Saturday, April 13, just in time for Earth Day. Bring your friends and join us on a fun, family-oriented tour of the wetlands and our Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). Additional tour dates are on Saturdays, April 27, May 11, and May 25, starting at 10 a.m. Tours are free, but please call or email Kathy Fieberling, 831-345-1226, firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday noon before the tour to reserve a place. For more information, click here.
WWW Restoration Specialist Daniel Cassella sows native grass and wildflower seed within the grassed waterway
This month Watsonville Wetlands Watch (WWW) partnered with Reiter Berry Farm, Lakeside Organics, and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County to complete the planting of a grassed waterway along Hanson Slough on the Watsonville Slough Farm. The project began in the summer of this past year and involved the widening of a drainage swale that ran through the middle of several large farm fields. All of the water from the fields ran through the drainage swale and into Hanson Slough. This month, WWW restoration staff worked with the farm crew to install native perennial plants throughout the drainage swale.
The native plants will hold the soil within the swale in place and improve the water quality coming from the fields before it enters the slough. We used a wide diversity of flowering native plants which will support the control of crop pests, a very important element to these organic farmers. A similar project that we built in 2006 showed the removal of 91% of total coliform bacteria and over 50% of nitrates from the water, demonstrating the success of this approach. It is these types of innovative farming practices and conservation partnerships that nurture the sloughs environment and support the clean water and wildlife habitat so important to the watershed.
Help Give Our Restoration Team
Our old work truck, Blanca, is just about ready to be put out to pasture. We need a new truck to support our restoration and educational work, so we are seeking the donation of a pick-up truck, preferably four-wheel drive. Your tax-deductible donation will allow us to get access to the sites that we are restoring to healthy wildlife habitat. Contact Jonathan at email@example.com or 831-728-1156. The staff, restoration volunteers and the wildlife of the sloughs greatly appreciate your support!
Walk for the Wetlands…
Or Sponsor a Walker!
2012 Walk-a-thon Wetland Stewards participants,
including 5k winner Pablo Robles
You can support the Watsonville Wetlands Watch as a walker or sponsor by participating in Mt. Madonna’s 7th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Celebration on Saturday, April 27th, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The 5K/10K walk or run along the summit of Mt. Madonna is in the beautiful redwood forest overlooking the Monterey Bay. Sign up here if you would like to be a walker. Otherwise, please consider sponsoring one of the students, volunteers, staff, or other individuals walking for Watsonville Wetlands Watch. To sponsor an individual, click here. Whether you walk or pledge, starting at 11:30 a.m. you can enjoy the Eco-Carnival, Trash Fashion Show, and Solar Car Race. Learn more.
New Docents Graduate!
Graduating Docent Class of 2013
After 7 weeks of evening classes and field trips, 16 trainees officially became Watsonville Wetlands Watch Docents at a Graduation ceremony and potluck on March 13. Graduation was attended by the graduates and their guests, staff, board members, veteran docents, and 3 representatives from the Santa Cruz Patagonia store. The diverse and delicious potluck dinner was followed by a lively game of “Wetlands Jeopardy.” During the Graduation Ceremony, the graduates received tote bags courtesy of Patagonia. Board Treasurer Kris Beall was “struck by the richness of experience, knowledge, and dedication this group represents” while Board Member Dobie Jenkins said, “Their coming engagement with WWW will strengthen our programs immensely. I look forward to working with them in the years ahead.” Welcome new docents!
Speaker Series — Cuckoos and Carbon
Photo by Scott Smithson
In late September 2012, a wayward Common Cuckoo was discovered in the Watsonville Wetlands, and hundreds of birders flocked to the area during the course of the next 2 weeks, hoping for a glimpse of this elusive Old World bird. Thousands of miles were driven or flown by birders in pursuit of the now famous cuckoo, and the carbon footprint generated by the rare sighting was enormous.
On Wednesday, May 8, Watsonville Wetlands Watch will host Scott Smithson, local birder and founder of The Green Big Day, as he recounts the amazing appearance of the cuckoo and speaks about a new generation of “green birders” who are leaving their cars at home or carbon offsetting their obsession by supporting habitat restoration efforts.
From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Fitz Educational Resource Center, at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School campus in Watsonville. Map/directions. Admission is free but you must reserve a seat by contacting Kathy Fieberling at
831-345-1226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inset: Common Cuckoo. Photo by Efren Adalem
Support Our Work
You can partner with us as we protect, restore and foster appreciation of the Watsonville wetlands by supporting us with your donation. Contribute online by going to our website; or by sending a donation in the mail to WWW, P.O. Box 1239, Freedom, CA 95019. Contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS rules for non-profit organizations and are greatly appreciated!
Watsonville Wetlands Watch advocates for wetland issues, educates elementary, middle, and high school students, restores degraded habitats, preserves what remains whole, and teaches appreciation for the unique beauty and life of the Pajaro Valley wetlands. In cooperation with numerous other agencies, we support studies of and planning for these sites.