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Non Profit Spotlight - Stephanie Rios, Education Programs Coordinator and Yesenia Jimenez, Watershed Education and Restoration Specialist talk to Steve about the Wetlands Watch ( and Watsonville Community Forest (

KSQD Community Radio - Host Mathilde Rand and guests Stephanie Rios and Aimee Mizuno discuss the hands-on approach to the educational programs of the Watsonville Wetlands Watch. WWW is dedicated to the protection, restoration, and fostering of appreciation of the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley. Click here to listen.

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SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV) - Dozens of events taking place to help eliminate litter and illegal dumping throughout the county. The Santa Cruz county board of supervisors has endorsed May 11th as the first annual Santa Cruz County cleanup day.

One of the cleanups took place near Pajaro Valley high school today. About 25 students and community volunteers came out

“This is going to be a clean environment for everyone, it's going to prevent all the trash from ending up into our wetlands and slues which ultimately could end up in the ocean, junior at Pajaro Valley High School Alberto Carrillo said.

This cleanup was also hosted by Watsonville Wetlands watch which works to restore and protect wetlands in the Pajaro Valley.

Cleanup events in unincorporated parts of Santa Cruz County were made possible in part through Measure C, single-use funds.

Watch the video here.

By Tarmo Hannula, February 3, 2024 |

WETLANDS STEWARDS – Saira Ramos (foreground, left) of Watsonville Wetlands Watch helps public volunteers with a widespread planting project Saturday as part of World Wetlands Day at Struve Slough. Watsonville Wetlands Watch co-hosted the event that drew more than 250 people. After hearing words from a list of officials that included Assemblyman Robert Rivas and California State Senator John Laird, several groups headed out around the slough to put new plant starters in the ground.

“We’re in a climate crisis, the new norm; we’re witnesses ing extreme weather patterns,” Rivas said. “Tackling this climate crisis requires a collective effort — and that means all of us.”

By Tarmo Hannula, January 25, 2024 |

Members of Watsonville Wetlands Watch (WWW) joined forces with Watsonville Public Works, Studio Judy G and others Wednesday to plant new trees in downtown Watsonville. 

The effort is part of the ongoing Watsonville Community Forest Project by the city to plant thousands of new trees around Watsonville to enhance the shade canopy.

The planting is running in collaboration with the current art exhibit at Studio Judy G, “Trees to Be” in downtown Watsonville. Judy Gittelsohn, gallery owner, said the show focuses on the beauty and importance of trees in the community with 50 other artists in a wealth of mediums.  

“This is the beginning of our downtown push,” said Jonathan Pilch, executive director of WWW. “This winter we are aiming to plant 70 trees around town. We are really pleased to be working with Judy. We’ve already planted over 650 trees.”

By Selen Ozturk Jul 28, 2023 |

A new $117 million CalFIRE program aims to shade kids from record heat by replacing school pavement with drought-tolerant green space.

As extreme heat scorches California, schools preparing to reopen across the Bay Area are also preparing to use the first $47 million of a new $117 million CalFIRE program to shade kids by replacing school pavement with drought-tolerant green space.

15 projects for 100 schools statewide were selected on July 12 to receive this first round of Green Schoolyard Grants, including those in the Oakland and San Francisco Unified School Districts, and the Santa Clara County Office of Education. At least 70% of the $117 million will green schools in low-income and disadvantaged communities, which are shown in studies to be as much as 7 degrees Fahrenheit hotter in summer than wealthier areas nearby.

The program is part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s historic $800 million Extreme Heat Action Plan. As part of the plan, Newsom also launched Heat Ready CA this month. This is a 2-year, $20 million public outreach campaign, with resources available on, which will guide the state’s response to heat waves by focusing upon vulnerable populations including older adults, frontline workers, those with chronic illness and those who are pregnant.

By Johanna Miller | The Pajaronian

In 2017, Watsonville Wetlands Watch (WWW) and the City of Watsonville received a joint grant from the California Department of Fire and Forestry and the California Climate Investment Program. This boost of funding helped form WWW’s Forest and Climate Resiliency program, kickstarting a citywide tree planting effort. 

As of December 2022, the program has helped plant 1,100 trees in both residential and commercial areas of Watsonville, and several other organizations and local private family foundations have contributed to funding the effort.

Now, WWW is encouraging residents and businesses to take advantage of their Adopt a Tree program, which offers free shade trees to local residents and businesses.

Jonathan Pilch, executive director of WWW, said there were two main factors that led them to lead the tree planting effort.

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Watsonville Wetlands Watch
PO Box 1239
Freedom, CA 95019-1239
Voice: 831-728-1156
Fax: 831-728-6944
Offices at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center

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