Watch Restoration Specialist Mary Paul in restored native grassland. Photo by Denise Murphy
For years, the Watsonville Wetlands Watch has been planting native plants as part of an ongoing effort to restore habitat adjacent to the sloughs. Most of these native plants were started in our greenhouse or seed farm. On Saturday, June 14, WWW Restoration Specialist and native plant expert John Pritchard and WWW board member Kris Beall will lead a tour of our greenhouse and select restoration sites for an up-close look at wetland and grassland native plants and habitats. Participants will get to see a great selection of common and rare native plants in bloom in parts of the slough system not open to the public.
Analyzing Restoration Methods on the Pajaro Valley High Campus
Students from PVHS and Ernie, UCSC intern with WWW restoration program
Recently, 90 Pajaro Valley High School statistics students took an in-depth look at recent restoration of native grasslands on the 80 acre nature preserve on the Pajaro Valley High School campus. Assisting these students was a cadre of trained staff, docents, and interns. Students monitored native and non-native plant cover in several experimental plots designed by Watsonville Wetlands Watch restoration staff and planted during the previous winter by Pajaro Valley high students enrolled in the Green Careers occupational training program.
Native and non-native plants found at each meter along transect lines were entered into a database on iPads in the field and then analyzed in the classroom the next day as part of the students unit on designing sampling methods and analyzing field data with statistics. This analysis will help to continue our development of best practices to restore native grasslands in the Pajaro Valley a key initiative of the Watch and provides a great hands-on field-based learning opportunity for these students, right in their own backyard. This project was supported by funding from the Packard Foundation. the Friends of Pajaro Dunes, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.
Wetlands Photography Tour
Osprey landing on nest — Photo by Denise Murphy
Wetlands Watch docent Denise Murphy and her husband Efren Adalem are award winning photographers who love to take photos in the wetlands. On Saturday, July 19th, they will lead a wetlands photography tour where they will take you to some of their favorite spots, share photo tips, and show you how to see the wetlands through the eye of your camera.
Efren’s sea otter photographs are in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s otter exhibit and he was a finalist in the International Photo Exhibit in Varna, Bulgaria in 2013. Collectively they have won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place at the Santa Cruz County Fair for Wildlife Photography, Professional Class and 1st place in the Monterey Bay Birding Festival photo contest. Visit their website to see their incredible photographs. Denise also took several of the photos in this e-newsletter.
The two-hour tour starts at 4 p.m. Meet at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). The tour is free, but you must register by noon on Friday, July 18 by clicking here. Tour size is limited to 10 so RSVP early. For more information, call or email Kathy Fieberling, 831-345-1226, email@example.com.
Presentation — Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Capital of the World & More
Photo by Kate Spencer
Monterey Bay is known worldwide as one of the best places to see a variety of marine wildlife in any season, yet many people think mainly about the winter gray whale migration. On Tueday, July 22, Naturalist and Captain Kate Spencer will describe the many animals, including whales, dolphins, pinnipeds, seabirds, turtles, and large fish, that come for food and make our back yard famous. She’ll feature highlights from over a decade of whale watching tours, and compare our area to Southeast Alaska and Antarctica, two other whale hotspots where she has led tours.
Kate Spencer is an accomplished scientific illustrator, well-traveled naturalist, and conservationist. You may know her as a long-time naturalist with Monterey Bay Whale Watch. She now drives the first small open-boat whale watch on Monterey Bay with Fast Raft Ocean Safaris (www.fastraft.com).
We invite you to help restore wetland habitat by planting native plants and removing exotic invasive plants as part of our monthly community work day on June 28. We will work from 9 a.m. until noon, and we always make time for birding or a short hike around the wetlands. We supply the gloves, tools, and a snack. Meet at our Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). If you have questions, please contact Mary Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-566-4938.
Sky lupine, Lupinus nanus — Photo by Denise Murphy
Native habitats are not only good for wildlife — they also enhance and beautify our community. You too can support restoration and our wetlands. Receive discounts on whale-watching, birding tours, and other benefits by joining the WWW Northern Harriers as a sustaining donor. Read more or make a one-time gift on our secure online donation page. Your tax-deductible gift of any size will make a difference! Watsonville Wetlands Watch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, federal tax ID #77-0519882.
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.