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A casual observer might imagine that the sloughs are just flat, shallow depressions on an otherwise uneventful terrain. They appear smooth and softened by a history of erosion and farming. Today one can drive by the sloughs and barely see them as flashes of green between berry fields and shopping centers. What lies below these mashes, however, is a complex story—a story driven by the slow steady power of water, waves, wind, and tides on a geologically unstable, tectonically active coast.

— From Gary Kittleson's essay “Geology and Hydrology of the Watsonville Sloughs” in our book Watching the Watsonville Wetlands.