Presentation — Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Capital of the World & More
Photo by Kate Spencer
Monterey Bay is known worldwide as one of the best places to see a variety of marine wildlife in any season, yet many people think mainly about the winter gray whale migration. On Tuesday, July 22, Naturalist and Captain Kate Spencer will describe the many animals, including whales, dolphins, pinnipeds, seabirds, turtles, and large fish, that come for food and make our back yard famous. She’ll feature highlights from over a decade of whale watching tours, and compare our area to Southeast Alaska and Antarctica, two other whale hotspots where she has led tours.
Kate Spencer is an accomplished scientific illustrator, well-traveled naturalist, and conservationist. You may know her as a long-time naturalist with Monterey Bay Whale Watch. She now drives the first small open-boat whale watch on Monterey Bay with Fast Raft Ocean Safaris (www.fastraft.com).
Students in the garden harvesting carrots for their lunch
With the end of the school year, the Watch’s education staff members Adrienne Frisbee and Noëlle Antolin completed Watsonville Wetlands Watch’s first year teaching a Regional Occupation Program (ROP) Green Careers high school course at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center. The class wrapped up with a final field trip to MEarth, an environmental education center in Carmel. This center features native and organic gardens, a constructed wetland, rain water harvest, and a LEED certified commercial kitchen and classroom with solar power and a green roof. This environmental education center brought together many of the ideas, concepts, and skills the 28 high school students have studied over the course of the year. The students took a tour of the property, harvested vegetables and flowers, and made pizzas in the outdoor pizza oven and a salad with their harvest. Click to read the entire article.
Special Tour with Patrick Orozco
The Watsonville Wetlands Watch is hosting Pajaro Valley Ohlone Indian Council chairman Patrick Orozco, who will lead a special tour along the Pajaro River on Saturday, Aug. 9. Patrick will tell stories, sing, and share his experiences and knowledge about local native culture and history.
Patrick, descendent of native Californians, has been researching and teaching about native culture for over 20 years. He goes into schools with remembered songs and stories, dances and regalia. He is also an advocate for Indian rights and the protection of sacred grounds.
This family-oriented tour starts at 10 a.m. Meet at the City of Watsonville’s Pajaro River Park, behind the water treatment plant on Clearwater Lane just outside of Watsonville (directions). The tour is free, but you must register by noon on Friday, Aug. 8, by clicking here. For more information, call or email Kathy Fieberling, 831-345 1226, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another Amazing Year
for Wetland Stewards
(From left to right) Celeste Espino-Martinez, Ernesto Robles-Rocha, Alexis Rodriguez-Camacho, Emmelie Avila-Rodriguez taking a break from staffing their outreach booth at the Strawberry Blast event hosted by Food What.
The school year has come to a close and the 2014 class of Wetland Stewards have just graduated. It was a fun time, filled with meaningful learning moments for both the stewards and the education staff. Apart from navigating the challenges of mentoring middle and elementary school students, this group of teen mentors also participated in a variety of extra-curricular and community events and experienced many speakers and enrichment opportunities from the Watsonville Wetlands Watch community and beyond. Some examples of the events the Stewards participated in include the Watch’s Backyard Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale, the Migration Festival at Natural Bridges, the Strawberry Blast at the UCSC Farm, and World Wetlands Day and Earth Day at the high school. We also had speakers from the Puma Project based at UCSC, a team-building program led by educator Cara Sundell, birding with expert Nanci Adams, and the opportunity to create unique stepping stones for the garden under the guidance of artists Cathy Gamble and Linda Bjornsen. Click here to read entire article.
Come to our Annual Picnic!
You and your family and friends are invited to join us for an old-fashioned picnic/potluck on Saturday, August 23rd from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. We will celebrate summer with good food, good friends, birding, 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 tables for the food buffet and binoculars. The picnic site is on the Department of Fish and Wildlife Reserve at the corner of Harkins Slough and Lee Roads. Please RSVP to Kathy Fieberling at email@example.com or 831-345-1226.
Save the Date — Habitat Fest and Native Plant Sale
Photo by Denise Murphy
On Saturday, Sept. 27, the Watsonville Wetlands Watch presents the second annual Habitat Fest and Native Plant Sale, which will be a fun-filled day for the entire family. You will have a chance to buy native plants, learn about their striking benefits, and see the possibilities for creating a delightful backyard habitat in your own yard. Plus, we'll have new workshops with expert speakers, an Eco Kid Zone, food, music, nature walks, a raffle with great prizes, live animals, local wildlife displays, free habitat consultations, and demonstration habitats. The festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center in Watsonville (map/directions).
Native plants consume much less water than non-native species. That's a big plus given the current water crisis. Also, native plants are the foundation for a rich diversity of animal life. For example, native plants support a much wider array of insect species, and that in turn supports a greater variety of animals.
We invite you to help restore wetland habitat by planting native plants and removing exotic invasive plants as part of our monthly community work day on July 26. We will work from 9 a.m. until noon, and we always make time for birding or a short hike around the wetlands. We supply the gloves, tools, and a snack. Meet at our Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center (map/directions). If you have questions, please contact Mary Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-566-4938.
Support our Education Programs
You can help foster stewardship and leadership in young people by supporting our education programs. Receive discounts on whale-watching, birding tours and other benefits by joining the WWW Northern Harriers as a sustaining donor. Read more or make a one-time gift on our secure online donation page, Support The Watch. Your tax-deductible gift of any size will make a difference! Watsonville Wetlands Watch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, federal tax ID #77-0519882.
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.