Celebrate World Wetlands Day with Watsonville Wetlands Watch!
Saturday, February 2nd
“Water is the driving force of all nature”
-- Leonardo da Vinci
All life on the planet depends on water. Integrating the management of water, land and people remains a major challenge for the 21st century. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes that water is critical for global sustainable development and for human health and well-being, and has designated 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation. The theme for World Wetlands Day 2013 is Wetlands and Water Management.
At Watsonville Wetlands Watch, we believe that the nexus of water, people, and wetlands constitutes a priceless resource of enormous social, economic, and scientific value, providing additional benefits that people obtain from nature. The loss of these treasured systems would be irreparable. Thus, our mission of preservation, restoration, and education is closely linked with the management and wise use of these treasured wetlands.
To honor and mark this event, join us on Saturday, February 2nd.
Wetland Native Seed Farming
Mary Harvesting native grass seeds
On Friday, December 14th, KUSP radio broadcast an interview by Melissae Fellet of our Wetlands Watch restoration staff — Jonathan Pilch and Mary K. Paul — working on our wetlands native seed farm restoration project. You can listen to the broadcast, or read the transcript, by clicking here.
Mary and Jonathan processing native grass seeds
New Board Member Long Active with Wetlands Watch
Athena A. Barrios
Despite her youth, our new board member, and Watsonville native, Athena A. Barrios, has long been inspired by her natural surroundings: “When I was eight years old, I knew I wanted to pursue Marine Biology as a career when I was older.” She has now indeed graduated from the University of California with a bachelor’s degree in that discipline.
She chose to attend Pajaro Valley High School because of its strong environmental focus. In high school, Athena spent time on campus at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center, home of Watsonville Wetlands Watch, and later graduated from our Wetland Stewards and docent training programs.
While at UC Santa Cruz, starting in 2008, she often returned to the Wetlands Watch and her hometown of Watsonville to assist with volunteer events, including the annual Earth Day, Coastal Cleanup, and Day of the Child events, all celebrated on the Pajaro Valley High School campus.
Athena recalls, “I made it a point to stay active as a volunteer throughout my undergraduate career because it is what brought balance to my life.”
She also volunteered once a week with the Sea Otter Research and Conservation team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, an experience that balanced her marine science research with her related interest in environmental education.
Her Wetlands Stewards program experience at Wetlands Watch also helped her strengthen relevant skills of a young teacher and interpreter.
“All the experience I had accumulated with the Wetlands Watch helped me to become a Floor Manager at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at the Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz.”
Help Support our Educational Work with Local Youth
Athena's story, above, is inspirational, and she may be exceptional, but each year we educate hundreds of local schoolchildren in indoor and outdoor classrooms and have helped many onto careers or higher education in environmental or biologic studies. Others, who do not so specialize, are exposed to nature studies and environmental awareness for the first time, and many thereby find new paths to involvement and enrichment.
Our programs depend solely on grants and donations, so please consider supporting our efforts. Click here to donate!
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.