News from Watsonville Wetlands Watch
New Native Plant Found
in Watsonville Sloughs
A new native plant species has been lately observed on the Watsonville Slough Ecological Reserve. Ranunculus hebecarpus, downy buttercup, is a small, slender annual wildflower that is presently blooming and fruiting on the peninsula area of the Department of Fish & Game Reserve. There have been no recorded observations of this wildflower on the property prior to this year. The presence of the wildflower may be attributed to the effects of the earlier grazing on the site. Read more about the grazing program and another newly-sighted native.
Looking for Fun in the Summer?
Come on a Wetlands Alive! Tour
Summer is a good time to visit the wetlands. The upcoming Wetlands Alive! Tour dates are Sunday, June 12; Saturday, June 18; Saturday, July 16; and Sunday, July 24; starting at 10 a.m. Bring your friends and join us on a family-oriented tour of the wetlands and our Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). Tours are free, but please call 831-345-1226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday noon before the tour to reserve a place. For more information, click here.
Diving into Programs
by Executive Director Craig K. Breon
Late last year, when I interviewed to become the Watch’s new Executive Director, I expressed an interest in being hands-on with the organization’s programs. Yes, I understood that a good deal of this job is taken up with administration and fundraising tasks. Nonetheless, I had a background in teaching, and I wanted the opportunity to teach occasionally. I had been involved in the planning and implementation of restoration projects, and I wanted to do that as well. I had extensive experience in local land use and policy issues, and while I knew such things would be a small part of this job, I still expressed an interest in being involved. Thank goodness they said “Yes.” Read more in my blog.
Monitoring Results Are In:
Rabbits Prefer Native Grasses
Our third year of Project Tierra’s plant population monitoring began in the first week of May. Three algebra classes from Pajaro Valley High School took a field trip to the Watsonville Slough Ecological Reserve to continue to track the effects of the coastal prairie restoration project that was implemented in 2008. The goals of the monitoring study included tracking the success of the native plantings on the site and determining whether these natives are able to spread outside the planting area and move into neighboring grasslands. The results will be used to help restoration staff plan and implement coastal prairie restoration projects. Read whole article.
Keeping the Traditions Alive
Please join us for a special evening of stories, baskets and songs by Ohlone basketweaver, singer, writer and storyteller Linda Yamane. Linda traces her ancestry to the Rumsien Ohlone of the Monterey area and has spent 25 years researching Ohlone history and reviving Rumsien language, song, folklore, basketry, boat making, and other ancestral traditions. This presentation, sponsored by the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, is on Wednesday, July 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. It is free but please reserve a seat. Click for more information.
WWW Volunteers and Staff
Test the Waters at 2011 Snapshot Day
On May 7, three teams of volunteers and staff at Watsonville Wetlands Watch participated in Snapshot Day. This citizen-based water quality monitoring event seeks to test the water quality of streams and sloughs on the same day. The data provides a one time “snapshot” of the health of the watersheds that drain to the Monterey Bay. We sampled twelve sites in the Watsonville Sloughs for dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, temperature, transparency, nutrients, and bacteria levels. The data we collected will be shared with our partners and will be made public on our Project Tierra online database. Notable adventures of the day included a coyote catching and eating a small prey animal, kayaking, and a staff member getting stuck in the mud. To get involved, sign up to participate in our next event, First Flush, in November! Email email@example.com for more information.
Sasha and Cayenne Visit the Wetlands Educational Resource Center
On May 16, Kim Franza, raptor rehabilitator with Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release in Grass Valley, thrilled an audience of students of Nanci Adams’ Birding classes, Wetland Stewards high school interns, and WWW volunteers and staff with a presentation on raptor rehabilitation. The highlights included meeting the magnificent Great Horned Owl Sasha and Harris’s Hawk Cayenne, and inspecting raptor carcasses up close (all of which Kim has special federal permits for). Kim discussed the physiology of raptors and the ways that they can become injured and sick, and the remedies available. We plan to bring Kim back for a public outreach presentation later this year; stay tuned.
Would you like to support our work ...
to protect, restore, and foster appreciation of the wetlands?
You can contribute online by going to our website or by sending a donation in the mail to WWW, P.O. Box 1239, Freedom, CA 95019. Contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS rules for non-profit organizations and are greatly appreciated.
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.