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December 2016
News from Watsonville Wetlands Watch
          
In This Issue
We're In The Movies
A Big Month For Field Trips
Become a Docent: Training Starts In January
Presentation: First People Meet Second People
Bald Eagle Update
Community Restoration Day
We Are So Thankful
WWW Website
Join Our Mailing List
 We're In The Movies!

Wetland Stewards Movie
Elementary school children enjoying a field trip with Wetland Steward Mentors
Be among the first to preview our heartwarming new video, which highlights the keystone educational program of Watsonville Wetlands Watch, the Wetland Stewards Mentor program.
 
Athena Barrios, former Wetland Steward and current Board of Directors member, interweaves key messages throughout the film as we enjoy beautiful vistas of the wetlands and get personal glimpses of the benefits young people gain through the program.
 
We are deeply grateful to Pat Fitz who sponsored the creation of this wonderful new video for Watsonville Wetlands Watch.
 
Click here to view the film!
 A BIG Month For Field Trips

Wetland Stewards Field Trip - Photo courtesy daviddennisphotos.com
The Wetlands Watch education team and field trip docents have been very busy this past month, with eight Cycles of Restoration field trips with 5th grade classes, nine Project Tierra Aquatic Invertebrate field trips with 9th graders, and a whole slew of Wetland Stewards field trips for students in after-school programs! Thank you to all of our wonderful docents who have led stations, inspiring wetland stewardship in this younger generation!
 
Three hundred 9th grade students from Pajaro Valley High School participated in our Project Tierra Aquatic Invertebrates field trips this fall!
 
Students walked from campus down to where the road dives into Harkins Slough at the end of north end of Lee Road, and spent their science class time investigating water quality by collecting and identifying water bugs. We found twelve different species and, based on this level of biodiversity, were able to give Harkins Slough a fair to good water quality assessment. Opossum shrimp or mycids (the name stems from the presence of a brood pouch in females) were found this year, a new species for many of us.
Want to Become a Docent?
Training Starts in January

Docent Rich Palm preparing for water quality testing with students

Docent training is a fun and rewarding way to learn about the natural and cultural history of the wetlands from experts, and to receive training for becoming a field trip facilitator.

Starting in January 2017, these interactive sessions include Wednesday evening presentations and Saturday morning field trips, visiting sites not normally seen by the public.
 
Join our dedicated team of trained docent volunteers who help with field trips, lead tours, participate in special events, work in the greenhouse and native plant demonstration garden, conduct water monitoring, and much, much more.
 
For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling at 831-345-1226, mailto:kathy@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org?subject=Docent%20Training, or click here.
 Presentation
 First People Meet Second People: Ohlone Indians and Early Spanish Explorations



Please join us on Tuesday, Jan. 10th, when State Archaeologist Mark Hylkema, presents a fascinating look at the local prehistory and native lifeway before European contact.  Mark will reflect on what it was like when grizzly bears and the Ohlone people dwelled here. He will also review aspects of the Spanish, Mexican and early American periods.
 
The presentation is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center. 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 kathy@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org.

 Bald Eagle Update

Courtesy Jeanne Byrne

Bald Eagle Fledgling Courtesy Jeanne Byrne


 

A new eagle has fledged! In my last eagle report I noted that one of the bald eagles that had been nesting here on Harkins Slough since 2014 died, and that the remaining adult appeared to have found a new mate this spring. Until now, we didn't know if they raised any chicks this summer in their nest in the eucalyptus trees across the slough from our farm. Then our eagle-eyed daughter saw an adult flying with a fledgling just before Thanksgiving. The baby obliged by perching on a tree in our restoration area long enough for us to get a good picture. The young eagle is as big as his or her parents, but won't develop the white head and tail for a few years. This is now the fourth eagle to be born and survive to adulthood on Harkins Slough.

The eagles are a reminder that nature is resilient, and that human efforts to be a positive force in nature can pay off. We can't completely undo damage that has been done, but we can create conditions that are more favorable to letting nature resume its course.
 
We wish to thank Jeanne Byrne of High Ground Organics for contributing this article and keeping us updated on the progress of Eagle nesting in the sloughs.
Celebrate the Start of Planting Season
Join Us for Community Restoration Day
Restoration
Young 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, December 17th.
 
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 mailto:mary@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org?subject=Restoration%20Saturday or 831-566-4938.
We Are So Thankful For Your Support
 
Wetlands
Lovely vista of the slough
 

This is the time of year when we look back and reflect on all of the good things in our lives - the beauty of nature, the love of friends and family, and the satisfaction of doing all we can to support the things we believe in.
 
We at Watsonville Wetlands Watch are deeply thankful for your support over the past 25 years. We've made dramatic improvements to our precious coastal freshwater wetlands, introduced thousands of youth to nature and science through our educational programs, and raised appreciation and support for this magnificent ecosystem throughout our community.
 
Help us continue to do this good work. Your tax deductible gift will support our mission to protect, restore, and foster appreciation of the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley well into the future.
 
Please make your special donation today.
 
 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.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch, PO Box 1239, Freedom, CA 95019