2016 Wetland Stewards Interns and Environmental Educators Darren Gertler and Hugo Ceja
on a recent field trip to Point Lobos
This past month, 12 more students became Wetland Steward Alumni. This group of students brings our alumni group up to 75 young adults, spreading the message of conservation and appreciation of our natural world.
The 2016 cohort has been a great group of Stewards who all experienced personal and academic growth and improved leadership skills. This year, thanks to donors Laura Hofmeister and the Freedom Lions Club, we were able to offer $1,000 scholarships to three graduating seniors. Scholarships were awarded to Victor Yanez, who plans to attend Cabrillo College and is interested in astronomy, Juliza Gonzalez, who will attend San Jose State University and plans to study psychology and law, and Rodrigo Garcia Salas, a Wetland Stewards alumnus from the class of 2015, who will attend CSU Monterey Bay and major in Environmental Science. Congratulations to all of our 2016 Wetland Stewards!
Native-Seed Production Expands
Sneezeweed, a native daisy, Evening Primrose, Yarrow, and Narrowleaf Milkweed growing in our seed production plot.
Large scale restoration projects must be planned months and sometimes years in advance. As we work on preparing for the coming winter’s restoration project we are developing the seed supply needed to replant large expanses of native marshes, wetlands, and meadows along Watsonville Slough west of Watsonville.
This year we increased the number of species that we grow for seed to include many which grow along the water's edge, as we have several restoration projects that will be in areas that are seasonally flooded by the slough waters. These plants are adapted in a variety of interesting ways to being under water for days to months at a time, emerging with just the right soil moisture and temperature. We grow our seed from local parent sources found in the Pajaro Valley's watershed because using diverse local genetics is an important strategy for ensuring that the plants are adapted to our local environmental conditions and are resilient in a changing climate. The seeds of these plants will be harvested, cleaned, stored, and labeled by staff and volunteers over the coming months while we look ahead to fall and winter plantings.
Falconry as a Window into Nature
On Wednesday evening, July 20, please join us for a delightful outdoor evening presentation with Falconer Kenny Elvin. He will talk about his extensive experience with raptors and what he has been able to observe firsthand about the ways animals interact and form relationships in nature. He will introduce you to his Great Horned Owl, Boggs, and his thrilling falcons and hawks. He will also fly his falcons for us. This is an evening not to be missed!
We will also have tours of our Native Plant Demonstration Garden. This talk is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the outdoor classroom, overlooking the beautiful wetlands, behind the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center. Please dress accordingly. Click for map/directions. Admission is free but you must reserve a seat online by clicking here. For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling at 831-345-1226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shorebirds Whimbrel (left) and Godwit.
Photo by Efren Adalem.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, join local birding expert Bob Ramer on a walk exploring the shorebirds on the last mile of Watsonville Slough at Pajaro Dunes. This will be the start of fall migration and we will expect to see many species of waterbirds, both migrant and resident.
This tour, hosted by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, is from 8 to 11 a.m. Expect to walk about 2 miles on flat ground. Meet at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center, at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School campus to carpool to the walk site. Click for map/directions. The tour is free, but you must register by clicking here. For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling, email@example.com, 831-345 1226.
Fourth Saturday Community Restoration Day
Volunteers make a difference
by helping to restore our wetlands
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 Saturday, July 23. We will work from 9 a.m. to 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 831-566-4938 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Independence Day!
The Bald Eagle symbolizes American independence.
Photo by Efren Adalem.
The Bald Eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America because of its long life, great strength, and majestic looks. Much later, it was protected under the National Emblem Act of 1940 and the Endangered Species Act. Due to successful conservation efforts, it has since been removed from the Endangered Species list.
The Bald Eagle needs large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and tall trees for nesting. Bald Eagles have chosen just such an environment in the Watsonville Wetlands, having successfully nested and fledged young here in recent years after having been absent for several decades.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch is proud of the work we’ve done to protect and restore the wetlands so that species such as the Bald Eagle can return and prosper here. We are thankful for all of our generous supporters who make it possible for us to do this work. Please consider making a gift in honor of the Bald Eagle’s return to the wetlands during the celebration of our Great Nation’s Independence this month. Thank you!
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.