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.
Our organization has publicized the importance of the sloughs through public meetings, newspaper articles and the publication of our award winning book, “Watching the Watsonville Wetlands: An Armchair Guide to the Watsonville Slough System” and by advocating for the sloughs before local governmental agencies.
We are working with local schools to educate students about the value of the wetlands through guided walks for students, serving as a resource for teachers, and providing educational materials to be used in the classroom. In addition, some of our members are not content to just speak and write about the sloughs, but also like to get “down and dirty” with slough cleanups.
We run the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (Fitz WERC) on the campus of Pajaro Valley High School. Map. The Fitz WERC is a joint venture of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, the City of Watsonville, and Watsonville Wetlands Watch.
We conduct free public tours of our facility, classroom, and greenhouse, and of the wetlands. We organize and run regular volunteer activities to clear invasive species and replace them with natives grown in our greenhouse and outdoors, often from seed. We conduct field trips for elementary school children.
We run the Wetland Stewards Program, a hands-on, experiential wetland science after-school program with a mentoring component. We train volunteer docents to support and conduct all our activities. Through program grants from the NOAA B-WET program and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Watsonville Wetlands Watch and Fitz WERC program staff are implementing Slough-based Environmental Education (Project SEE) at Pajaro Valley High School.