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News and Upcoming Events
September 2009
Contents
Grassland Restoration
Digital Nature Photography Workshop
Biodiversity Monitoring Program
Wetlands Alive! Tours
Ashley Ciglar
Restoration Saturday
Strawberry Festival
Pacific Garbage Patch
Northern Harriers
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
The Watch Conducts Grazing Program
Sheep eat invasive plants to aid restoration 
Over 300 sheep and goats from Star Creek Ranch in Aromas recently joined Watsonville Wetlands Watch in its grassland and slough restoration efforts. 

On June 13th, WWW hosted a morning walk and tour of this inspiring project to demonstrate the positive impacts these animals are having on the grassland and wildlife habitat. Read more....
Introduction to Nature Photography

Snowy EgretOn Saturday, Sept. 12, WWW is offering a workshop, "Introduction to Digital Nature Photography," led by award-winning nature photographer and interpreter Jeff Barnes. This one-day workshop, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the WERC, is for the nature lover who looks to improve his or her photographic skills.

The day will provide discussion time as well as opportunities to practice new techniques in the field. The cost is $75, and space is limited. For more information, click to email Kathy Fieberling or call her at 345-1226.
Biodiversity Monitoring Program
 
Biodiversity field workThe Wetlands Biodiversity Monitoring Program (WBMP) brings together students and scientists to collect data, observe, and perform citizen science in the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley.

Recently we have partnered with Shennan Labs of UCSC to provide a water quality analysis component to our program through a National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant. To learn more about WBMP, click here.
Upcoming Wetlands Alive! Tours
 
Birding sloughsideThe last two Wetlands Alive! Tours of the season are September 13th and 19th at 10 a.m.

Bring your friends and join us on a fun, family-oriented tour of the wetlands and our Educational Resource Center (the Fitz WERC; meet at the WERC). For more information, driving directions, and maps, click here.

Tours are free, but please call the WERC at 728-1156, ext. 7, by Friday noon to reserve a place.
Ashley Ciglar:
Restoration Team Volunteer

 
Ashley CiglarAshley has been volunteering for WWW since her junior year of high school at St. Francis Central Coast. She joined the ecology club there, found out about our restoration events, and decided to volunteer to gain service hours.

Now Ashley is using what she learned as a WWW volunteer in the Solar Decathlon sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and is flying to Washington, D.C. to compete. Read more....
Next Restoration Saturday 
Sept 26th from 9 to noon
 
Large group of volunteers do restoration work at sloughThe next Restoration Saturday is Sept. 26th from 9 to noon. Come join other volunteers and be a part of the restoration at this site.

We will meet at 9 a.m. at the Fitz WERC located at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School campus (500 Harkins Slough Rd). Map.

Please bring water and wear layered work clothes, sturdy shoes, and a sun hat. We will provide tools, gloves, and a snack. We will be out on the DFG Ecological Reserve maintaining the restoration sites that we have revegetated this year.
WWW at the Strawberry Festival!

WWW booth at Strawberry FestivalOn August 1st and 2nd, the Watch sponsored a booth at the downtown Watsonville Strawberry Festival.

Many thanks to docents Marcia Burns, Jim Hagan, Nancy Scarborough, Valerie Stewart, and Linda Youmans who staffed the booth, along with staff members Kris Beall, Genie Dee, and Kathy Fieberling.

About 400 people stopped by our booth, and staffers enjoyed answering questions and sharing information. A fun time was had by all! To learn more about our docent program, click here.
The "Pacific Garbage Patch"
 
Plastic trash that has washed ashoreThe "Pacific Garbage Patch" was the topic of the August 6th docent meeting.

Ximena Waissbluth of the Surfrider Foundation shared distressing news of the effects of our plastic waste on the oceans and its inhabitants. She noted that many Americans do not know that plastic is a petroleum-based product and few of us grasp the scope of plastics use.

Of 24 million tons of plastics generated each year, less than 5% is recycled, according to the CA Waste Management Board. Even more alarming, there is evidence that plastic is making its way into our food supply. Read more....
What is a Northern Harrier? 

Northern HarrierAccording to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Northern harrier is "A long-winged, long-tailed hawk of open grassland and marshes [which] forages by flying slowly low above the ground looking for small rodents...the male is white below with a light gray back and hood, the female is mottled in browns."

Northern harriers are native to the Watsonville wetlands and often seen by birders.

But to the Watch, "Northern Harrier" also has a special meaning. Read more....
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.