Construction of grassed waterway near Hanson Slough
Wetlands Watch Restoration Staff is working closely with a consortium of partners including the Santa Cruz Resource Conservation District, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Reiter Berry Farm, Lakeside Organics, and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz to protect and enhance Hanson Slough through a variety of conservation land-management practices.
Organic strawberry and vegetable farming is one of the main activities in the Hanson Slough watershed — one of the smallest drainage areas of the Watsonville sloughs. A variety of conservation methods can ameliorate the degradation of slough water caused by nearby farming. Recently the consortium broke ground on one such method — the planting of a grassed waterway on a field adjacent to the slough.
The work includes widening a drainage channel and planting it with deep-rooted native perennial plants that effectively hold the soil and water in the field. This keeps sediment from flowing into the slough and absorbs excess nutrients in farm runoff. These types of practices and partnerships are effective in restoring the health of the Watsonville Sloughs!
Paddling on the Pajaro River
Photo: Dobie Jenkins
On a warm, sunny morning in June, active members of the Watsonville Wetland Watch Board and Planning and Conservation Committee explored the Pajaro River in kayaks and canoes. The committee was celebrating the opening of the new park behind the Clearwater Lane Water Treatment Facility, operated by the City of Watsonville. Within the riparian corridor adjacent to the river, the City has created a wonderful small park restored with native plants, picnic tables, and a kayak/canoe launch ramp. The facility also includes restrooms, bike racks, and drinking fountains for the comfort of the park's visitors.
Thanks to the City of Watsonville for their continuing efforts to bring open space, park-land, and public gardens to the community of Watsonville.
Paddlers should check tide charts and the overall levels of the river before launching. River levels drop during summer.
Pinto Lake: Algal Blooms and Related Water Toxicity
Pinto Lake, one of the treasured lakes of the Pajaro Valley, provides community recreation that includes boating, fishing, bird watching, and hiking. The lake also has historical and even spiritual significance. The water quality of the lake, however, has been found to have high toxicity levels caused by the bloom of cyanotoxins (a toxic product of blue green algae). This toxin can endanger human recreational users, including boaters and swimmers, in addition to impacting wildlife in and around the lake. As the waters drain into Corralitos Creek and through the Pajaro River to the ocean, recent research indicates that the toxic water from Pinto Lake may be an important factor linked to sea otter deaths in the Monterey Bay.
Santa Cruz Community Credit Union Grant Awards Watsonville Wetlands Watch a Large Check!
Santa Cruz Community Credit Union (SCCCU) Visa card holders have for the second year selected WWW to be among five community groups to receive grants from SCCCU. Each time SCCCU members use their Community Visa card, the credit union contributes five cents to a donation fund. Thanks both to SCCCU for its generosity and community involvement and to the credit unionís Visa card holders for selecting WWW to receive this generous grant of $1,821.83!
You are invited to join our Annual Picnic!
Family and friends are invited to join us for an old-fashioned picnic potluck on Saturday, August 18th, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. We will celebrate summer with good food, good friends, bird watching, and a nature walk. Bring a dish or drinks to share (picnic plates, cups, flatware, etc.), and a blanket or beach chair to sit on. We will provide binoculars and tables for the food buffet. The picnic site is on the Department of Fish and Game Reserve at the corner of Harkins Slough and Lee Roads. For additional information, please RSVP to Kathy Fieberling at 831-345-1226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discover the Wonders of the Wetlands on a Wetlands Alive! Tour
You and your family can have a wetlands adventure by attending a fun tour of the wetlands and our Wetlands Educational Resource Center. This month’s tour dates are Saturday, August 11 and Saturday, August 25, starting at 10 a.m. Tours are free, but please contact Kathy Fieberling, email@example.com or 831-345-1226, by Friday noon before the tour to reserve a place. Meet at the Wetlands Resource Center, at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School campus at 500 Harkins Slough Rd, Watsonville. Click for map/directions. For more information, contact Kathy or visit our website.
Presentation: Back from the Brink — The Peregrine Falcon!
On Wednesday evening, September 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the Watsonville Wetlands Watch will host Glenn Stewart, the UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Groupís director, who will discuss techniques used to bring the Peregrine Falcon back from near extinction. Glenn will discuss his experiences from a career as a conservation biologist working on Peregrine Falcon population recovery in the Pacific States through breeding falcons in aviaries for release to the wild.
Glenn will bring a live Peregrine Falcon!
At the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center in Watsonville. Click for map/directions. The presentation is free, but you must reserve a seat by contacting Kathy Fieberling, 831-345-1226, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.