Left: Restoration specialist Daniel Casella broadcasting native wetland seeds adjacent to the new side branch of Watsonville Slough. Right: A diversity of native grass, sedge, rush, and wildflower varieties being prepared for sowing.
With the start of the rainy season, the Watsonville Wetlands Watch restoration staff has been busy sowing the seeds of new native grasslands and wetlands along Watsonville Slough and the Pajaro Valley floor. The fall of 2016 has brought a new partnership with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and a private landowner, with whom we are working to create a new side branch of Watsonville Slough that re-connects to Harkins Slough, near the confluence of these two sloughs. According to the earliest maps of the Pajaro Valley, this area was the highest extent of salt marsh habitat on the valley floor.
Work includes re-seeding of 23 acres of new habitat on a seasonally flooded former agricultural field as a part of re-connecting the two sloughs, and improving water quality, circulation and habitat in the lower slough system. This project will be a great boon to the Bald eagle, Osprey, Burrowing owl, and California red-legged frog, all state- or federally-listed threatened species that are known to use this part of the slough system.
Another Memorable Habitat Festival
and Native Plant Sale
Happy kids at the Habitat Festival
Photo by Gladys Perkins
On Oct. 1, during our annual Habitat Festival and Native Plant Sale, the many attendees enjoyed the sunny weather, lively music, and relaxed, festive atmosphere. Happy kids were painting pumpkins, building bird houses and playing homemade instruments to the music of ZunZun, while raptors soared overhead during the Falconry demonstration. Native plant sales were brisk and a number of people enjoyed the “Green Gardening” presentations. We owe a debt of gratitude to Patrick Fitz, who through his sponsorship enabled us to offer this special event to the community again this year.
We would also like to thank other supporters, including Soquel Nursery Growers, Suncrest Nurseries, Succulent Gardens, Elkhorn Nursery, Sierra Azul Nursery, Alladin Nursery, Scarborough Gardens, Home Depot, Cabrillo College Horticulture Department, and Pajaro Valley Unified School District.
The Sixth Extinction —
Saving our Planet, Saving Ourselves
In relatively recent times a mammal called Homo sapiens has become a geophysical force, altering Earth’s life with profound and often devastating consequences. One of these consequences, called “the Sixth Extinction,” poses one of the greatest challenges our species has ever faced.
As part of our Speaker Series, on Thursday, Nov. 3, environmental journalist John Moir will discuss the causes of the Sixth Extinction and how we can respond, both individually and collectively. John’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and many other publications. He is the author of two nonfiction books (including Return of the Condor), has contributed to three anthologies, and has received more than two-dozen writing awards.
Docent Rich Palm preparing for water quality testing with students
Our 2017 Docent Training Program begins in mid-January. Docent training is a fun and interesting way to learn about the natural and cultural history of the wetlands from experts, and to receive training for becoming a field trip facilitator. These interactive sessions include Wednesday evening presentations and Saturday morning field trips, visiting sites not normally seen by the public. Join our dedicated team of trained docent volunteers who help with field trips, lead tours, participate in special events, work in the greenhouse and native plant demonstration garden, conduct water monitoring, and much, much more. For more information, contact Kathy Fieberling at email@example.com, 831-345-1226 or click here.
Community Restoration Day
Volunteers make a difference by helping to restore our wetlands
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 Saturday, November 18. We will work from 9 a.m. to 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.
Wetlands Watch Chosen for Monterey County GIVES! 2016 Campaign
Mark your calendars because on November 10th, “Monterey County GIVES!” kicks-off its 2016 non-profit giving campaign and the Watsonville Wetlands Watch has been selected as one of this year’s benefactors! Just go to https://www.montereycountygives.com/nonprofit/wetlands/ anytime between November 10th and December 31st to participate in the campaign. Check or cash donations should be mailed or delivered directly to the Community Foundation for Monterey County at 2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940.
Organizations were chosen based on their “BIG IDEA” including projects that improve the health, welfare and environment of our community and in programs that are innovative, original, and will make a positive and noticeable impact. We are honored that Monterey County GIVES! chose our Wetland Stewards Intern Program as a BIG IDEA to promote this year.
This is a very special opportunity to make an even greater impact for Watsonville Wetlands Watch and the Wetlands Stewards Program because the Monterey County Weekly Community Fund will be offering a partial match to encourage more giving! So please tell all your friends and be sure to click here between November 10th and December 31st to make your contribution. Mark your calendar!
Watsonville Wetlands Watch and the Wetlands Stewards thank you in advance for your generosity and support!
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.