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News from Watsonville Wetlands Watch
May 2010
Contents
Human Race Supports
Wetlands Education
Wetland Stewards
Mentor Others
Earth Day in Watsonville
Students Restore Land!
Snapshot Day Checks Water Health
Become a “Prosumer”
Determining the Future
for Water
Planning for a
2035 Regional Blueprint
32-Mile Rail Line Purchase
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Human Race Supports
  Wetlands Education


WWW board member Tiffany Hernandez and family
Thirteen students, teacher Deanna Young, several volunteers, and board member Tiffany Hernandez and family (shown here) arose bright and early Saturday, May 8th, to walk and run for wetlands education in the Human Race. The race followed a 6-mile course from Natural Bridges State Park along West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. This group and other WWW supporters raised over $1300 to benefit wetlands education at PVHS. Many thanks to all the participants, donors, and supporting teachers! To see more, click here.

The Human Race was part of WWW's Spring Campaign. You can still contribute by clicking here. All contributions are greatly appreciated.
Wetland Stewards Mentor Others

Students 
and teacher working by slough
2010 has been a great year to be a mentor for the Wetland Stewards After-School Program.  Our high school mentors (Andrea, Fernando, Jasmin, Sandra, Rudy and Miguel) have been teaching an environmental after-school program at Mintie White Elementary School and Lakeview Middle School. They are exploring neighboring watersheds and other ecosystems, and they also took a field trip to Aņo Nuevo to watch and study Northern elephant seals.  Click here for more.
 
Earth Day in Watsonville

WWW Volunteer holds 
gopher snake at Earth Day event. WWW volunteers behind 
table of taxidermied animals and other specimens
Hundreds of community members came to Ramsay Park in Watsonville to celebrate Earth Day and Day of the Child on April 25th. Watsonville Wetlands Watch set up a booth where docents and Wetland Stewards led children of all ages through wetlands bingo. Folks also got to learn about the local fauna by visiting with Rocky, the gopher snake, and our taxidermied animal specimens. Many smiling faces left our booth with a lasting prize -- a native wetland plant!
 
Students Restore Land!

Students and teacher in field with tools
Students have been working this spring replanting native plants and removing non-native plants as a part of the 80 acre restoration project surrounding Pajaro Valley High School. This spring's work has focused on upper Hanson Slough. There have been many signs of recovery in this new habitat (formerly a strawberry field), such as good growth from 4 and 5 year-old native trees, and a healthy raptor population, including Red-shouldered hawks, White-tailed kites, and Burrowing owls. For more photos by Integrated Science teacher Rob Hoffman, click here.
 
Snapshot Day Checks Water Health

Student in
 kayak on local slough
In partnership with the Coastal Watershed Council, WWW kicked off the wetlands water quality monitoring portion of Project Tierra on May 1, 2010, Santa Cruz's official Snapshot Day. Docents and other community volunteers participated in this regional event which captures a snapshot of the health of 300 miles of coastal watersheds.  We collected data from 14 points in the Watsonville Sloughs. Click here to learn more.
 
Become a “Prosumer”

Photo of 
high-tension electric transmission towers
In this presentation on Thursday, June 17, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the WERC, you'll learn to understand your PG&E bill and reduce your use of electricity and natural gas to save money and the environment. Smart Grid consultant Christine Hertzog will give a preview of the revolution in the electrical grid, how your relationship with electricity is going to change, and why becoming a “prosumer” is a good thing. For directions and map, click here. Click here to learn more about the talk.
 
Determining the Future for Water

Drawing of
 small sailboat at sea
AMBAG, the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, is sponsoring three Community Planning Forums on water to explore how to reduce our water use and increase our water supply as the Monterey Bay Area develops. Each forum will include presentations from a panel of experts followed by a discussion and a question and answer session. Also available are two facility tours to see how the region is currently addressing current and future water needs. For details, click here or contact Linda Meckel, lmeckel@ambag.org, 831-264-5084.
 
Planning for a 2035 Regional Blueprint

Bob CulbertsonFrom Bob Culbertson, WWW President: “AMBAG (the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments) has some regional authority. Currently the Cities and Counties have General Plans that direct zoning and land use. This is a new layer of planning that we will need to get involved with. It remains to be seen if a regional General Plan will subordinate any of the more local plans, but whatever comes out of the regional discussion will have some impact on local plans ... so we need to have input.” For a schedule of community meetings, click here.
 
32-Mile Rail Line Purchase Approved

Cartoon of
 Rail RoadbedAn article on this major decision appeared in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on May 7th.  Bob Culbertson comments: “Note that this rail line also borders Manabe/Ow and connects on to Pajaro Junction and Salinas with the main Coastal Rail line. There has not been much planning projecting use of this corridor to move the people of the Pajaro Valley towards the beaches or North County locations but the purchase keeps the options open for the future.  Several miles of the rail corridor border our sloughs so it is another planning opportunity for WWW.” To learn more, click here.
 
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.