Photo: CCLI students and Watsonville Wetlands Watch staff enjoy a planting day above Struve Slough.
On February 8th, our Climate Corps Leadership Institute student interns joined Wetlands Watch staff to restore the habitats of Upper Struve Slough. Together, they planted over 600 young plants grown in our native plant nursery this fall and winter, bringing the total to 1,500 native plants planted on this site this rainy season. We’re also very appreciative of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust stewardship team for joining us for planting and stewardship work. This work is a part of a multi-year effort to conduct watershed restoration along the Upper Struve Slough within the City’s trail network. This work will replace several acres of non-native and invasive plants with diverse native habitat, essential to the over 270 resident and migratory bird species that rely on the Watsonville wetlands and the impressive biodiversity found within wetlands that surround the Watsonville trail network.
This work is funded by a grant to the City of Watsonville and Watsonville Wetlands Watch from California’s Habitat Conservation Fund. Designs for future wetland restoration and upstream stormwater treatment projects are currently underway with funding from the Regional Water Management Foundation at the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County and the California Department of Water Resources.
Given the conditions of the past year, the City’s trails have seen a significant increase in daily use. In addition to aiding in the long term restoration process, projects like these are providing immediate benefits to the open space and recreational areas through beautification and renewal. Our CCLI interns will spend the rest of the school year working on various restoration projects and participating in community science and climate action programs, taking on a greater leadership role as they learn about Watsonville’s slough system’s birds, water quality, and aquatic invertebrates.