From Rainwater to Groundwater
With another dry year, a long-time impacted groundwater aquifer in the Pajaro Valley, and an uncertain future, water conservation measures continue to be important at many levels. One new method that is being developed to improve groundwater infiltration and the re-charge of our aquifers is the creation of groundwater recharge basins that direct and increase the capture of rainwater to replenish the aquifer.
This fall we partnered with the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County who is working with the Hydrogeology lab of Andy Fisher at the University of California Santa Cruz and the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency to develop and install these important new landscape features throughout the Pajaro Valley.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch staff and the California Conservation Corps supported the project by installing the sediment and erosion control measures post grading and construction and by designing and installing new native habitat surrounding the recharge basin that would stabilize the site, improve wildlife habitat, and support pollinators and beneficial insects for the surrounding vineyards and farms.
The recharge basin will be monitored throughout the coming winter and the years to come to improve the understanding of rainwater infiltration and groundwater recharge while helping to ensure our groundwater resources are here for future generations.
Circumnavigation Tour of the Watsonville Wetlands Saturday, April 7
You will discover how this extensive freshwater wetland system fits together, and learn about the history of the area and how it was conserved. Not only will Bob show you parts of the slough system seldom seen by the public, but you will also be able to do a little bird watching along the way. Bob is a retired Superintendent of State Parks in Santa Cruz County and offers a deep wealth of information about our slough system.
This tour will take place rain or shine. Wear layered clothing and bring a hat and umbrella in case of rain.
Saturday April 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Meet at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center at the top of the Pajaro Valley High School campus located at 500 Harkins Slough Road, Watsonville. Space is limited so reserve your spot early by going to www.watsonvillewetlandswatch.org and click on “Events.”
Wetland Steward Corner
Lucia had friends who had participated in Wetland Stewards and upon seeing what good experiences they had, wanted to be a part of the program herself. She also developed a love of the environment in her AP Environmental Science class. Her favorite memory as a Wetland Steward is the camping trip over the summer at Manresa Beach, as it was her first time camping! In college she hopes to study either Marine Biology or Environmental Studies and is grateful for the confidence and public speaking skills she has gained from being a part of Wetland Stewards.
Andres was inspired to join Wetland Stewards after attending one of our Project Tierra field trips through Mr. Martindale’s chemistry class and was encouraged to join by his brother, an alumni of the program. He is interested in film and music production and had an opportunity to take video footage of the wetlands and help edit footage for the WAVES program, which is a forthcoming trail app that the public will be able to utilize currently under development by the Monterey Bay Center for Environmental Literacy.
Eustolia was encouraged to join Wetland Stewards by her biology teacher. She has a passion for mentoring younger students and loves to see how inspired the kids that come on field trips get. She feels that she can see them developing a love for the Earth and wants to show them that they have the ability to make a difference even at a young age. After graduating, she hopes to become a culinary nutritionist and is grateful to the Wetland Stewards program for giving her an appreciation for community engagement.
Please be sure to say hi to these remarkable young people when you see them at the WERC.