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April 2017
News from Watsonville Wetlands Watch
In This Issue
Springtime in the Wetlands Yellow Willow
Presentation: Climate Change and Impacts on the Monterey Bay Area
International Migratory Bird Day Celebration
Sally-Christine Rodgers Special Book Signing Event
2017 Docent Class Graduates
Welcome Kenton Parker to the Board
Saturday Community Restoration - An Earth Day Event
Thank You Patagonia and Newman's Own Foundation
WWW Website
Join Our Mailing List

Springtime in the Wetlands
  Yellow Willow
 Flowers of the male Yellow Willow

Spring is a good time to visit the wetlands because of the many blooming plants. Among them you will find several varieties of willows. Willows can be hard to tell apart. Both the red willow and the yellow willow are trees that grow at the water's edge and have leaves with long tapering tips. To identify the yellow willow look for the small bumps or glands found at the base of the leaf blade.
Tiny seeds produced by the female Yellow Willow

Most flowering plants have both male and female reproductive parts on the same plant, but willows have them on separate plants. The male willows produce beautiful yellow flowers that disperse pollen both by wind and insects. The female willows produce copious quantities of tiny seed borne on the wind by white fluff. If these seeds chance to land on some wet soil they can germinate and grow.
Willows also have the ability to reproduce from branches that break off and get stuck in the mud. These bare branches can develop new roots and leaves. Because of this ability willow cuttings are often used in habitat restoration. The annual sprouts of willows are exceedingly strong and flexible, and are often used in basket weaving.

Presentation - Climate Change and Impacts on the Monterey Bay Area
Gary Griggs
Our climate is changing and is being driven in large part over the past century by the increasing emission of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels.
Worldwide temperatures in 2016 were the hottest on record, and arctic ice is melting and sea level is rising. How will the climate changes we are experiencing affect the Monterey Bay area in the years ahead?
On Wednesday, May 17, Gary Griggs, UCSC Professor of Earth Sciences and Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences, will discuss climate change and provide a view into what we can expect in our local area.
This talk, hosted by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, is from 6:30 to 8:30 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 Fiebering at 831-345-1226 or kathy@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org
International Migratory Bird Day Celebration
International Migratory Bird Day 2017 Poster
Join us on Saturday, May 13th, when we celebrate International Migratory Bird Day 2017!
When birds migrate between nesting and wintering sites, they don't just stop anywhere; they rely on a handful of resource-rich and strategically located sites where they may double their body weight as they acquire the energy-rich fat stores needed to fly thousands of kilometers across continents and oceans. These places are known as stopover sites. The wetlands along the Central Coast, including Watsonville Wetlands, provide crucial habitat for migrating and resident birds.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch is hosting two bird watching walks on Saturday, May 13th, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Nanci Adams will lead a walk along the paved East Struve Slough trail that is wheelchair accessible and will see some of our restoration work in progress. Hugo Ceja's walk across Department of Fish and Wildlife lands to West Struve Slough requires walking over some uneven terrain and is a great venture out into one of the more wild areas of the Watsonville Slough System. Wear layers, bring binoculars, hat, sunscreen, and water.
Both trips will meet at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center map/directions. Car caravans will leave from there for each tour. Admission is free but you must reserve a seat online by clicking here. For more information, contact Debbie Diersch at  debbie@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org

Sally-Christine Rodgers Special Book Signing Event

Imagine sailing 3,000 nautical miles in fifteen days on a new, untested boat with an experimental rig, with twin four-year-olds and a nine-year-old aboard!

This beautifully photographed and often poetic travel adventure brings to life the peoples and landscapes of the South Seas. Inspired by her father's tales of 1930's Polynesia, the author retraces his wanderings as she explores the essence of South Pacific island life, what remains central to this alluring culture and what has changed in today's very different version of paradise.

Please join Sally-Christine Rodgers, author of Convergence - A Voyage Through French Polynesia, for a very special book signing event being held on Saturday, April 8th, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Kelley's Books located at the Nob Hill Shopping Center - 1838 Main Street, Watsonville - 728-4239. Visit convergencevoyages.com for more information and reviews.

All of the proceeds from the sale of Sally-Christine's book are being generously donated to Conservation efforts including Watsonville Wetlands Watch and Elkhorn Slough Foundation.
 2017 Docent Class Graduates

2017 Docent Class
Q. What do a retired letter carrier, a teacher, a transportation planner and a physician all have in common?
A. They are all graduates of the 2017 Wetlands Watch Docent Training Program! After 7 weeks of classes, field trips and lots of muddy shoes, the 19 docent trainees played their final round of Wetlands Jeopardy and received their permanent name badges on March 8.
This is a diverse group of individuals who offer a unique set of skills along with their great enthusiasm, and we are thrilled to have them on our docent team!
Welcome New Docents!

Welcome Kenton Parker to the Board

Kenton Parker
We are pleased to announce the election of Kenton Parker to the Watsonville Wetlands Watch Board of Directors.

Kenton retired from Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in 2013 after serving 15 years as the Director of Education and Public Outreach. He went on to become a science education consultant where he uses his prolific skills and experience to provide quality science education in our schools. He brings a passion for science to this vocation that began with 12 years of experience in biochemistry research at the University of California and Montana State University.
Kenton holds a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is currently working with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to develop field activities and new curriculum for both youth programs and teacher professional development.

"I am honored by my election to the WWW Board. For many years now I have been inspired by the accomplishments of this organization towards conserving and sharing the wonders of wetland habitats in the Pajaro Valley. I frequently walk the trails around the Watsonville slough system and enjoy the beautiful views of wildlife and natural landscapes, thanks to the dedication of so many for so long. I am eager to offer my energy and experience to further this legacy." says Kenton.
Please join us in welcoming Kenton to our Board!

Saturday Community Restoration
An Earth Day Event

 Volunteers making a difference helping to restore our wetlands
On Saturday, April 22, we invite you to help restore wetland habitat as part of our celebration of Earth Day. 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 yummy snacks.
Meet at our Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). If you have questions, please contact Mary Paul at mary@watsonvillewetlandswatch.org or 831-566-4938.

Thank You Patagonia
and Newman's Own Foundation
Photo courtesy of Denise Murphy


Watsonville Wetlands Watch wishes to thank Patagonia and Newman's Own Foundation for grants that each organization recently awarded to us. The Patagonia grant will help fund the Watsonville Wetlands Conservation Action Project, the goal of which is to grow community and grassroots support for conservation action, restoration, and enhancement of the Watsonville Slough system by local residents.


The Newman's Own Foundation grant will help fund our efforts to generate positive change in our community. Since 1982, 100% of profits from the sale of Newman's Own products have been donated to thousands of non-profits worldwide, helping to make the world a better place.


Both grants will support our activities emphasizing citizen engagement, direct action, and environmental education that promote local conservation leadership. Our goal is to have a thriving slough system, a healthier habitat, clean water, community leaders who support more recreational open space, and more environmentally friendly policies.


Please join our supporters who help expand our programs that protect, restore, and foster appreciation of the Wetlands of Pajaro Valley.



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 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, federal tax i.d. #77-0519882.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch, PO Box 1239, Freedom, CA 95019