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Watsonville Wetlands Watch

Organization Mission

Watsonville Wetlands Watch works to preserve, restore, and foster appreciation of the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley, in partnership with the Watsonville community. Our education programs reach more than 4,000 students with outdoor learning that helps to develop the next generation of environmental leaders.

One of the largest remaining coastal freshwater slough systems, the 800-acre wetlands support 270 resident and migratory bird species, and 23 native plants and animals that are threatened, endangered, or species of special concern. Coastal wetlands have been shown to play a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

The Big Idea 2022:
Reconnecting Pajaro Valley Youth to Nature

Emerging from 15 months of virtual instruction, students need enriching outdoor learning experiences.

Watsonville Wetlands Watch will host thousands of 3rd-12th grade students for environmental education and hands-on outdoor environmental restoration field trips in Watsonville wetlands, parks, and trail systems, in support of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s Restorative Start initiative now through spring of 2022.

Students will learn how to take meaningful action related to climate change resilience and urban forests. Teens will restore wetland habitat for local, migratory, rare, threatened, and endangered wildlife. They will also plant trees throughout parks, streets, and neighborhoods.

Trees help to cool neighborhoods, improve access to nature, and provide opportunities for youth to take leadership roles in restoring the forest in a city where the tree canopy cover is 8%, far below what is needed. Our education programs primarily serve Latino youth from low-to-moderate income households.

Watsonville Wetlands Watch helped me discover my interest and passion for environmental stewardship. I didn’t know very much about nature, and I wasn’t very confident in my abilities to talk about the importance of the environment. I grew in my abilities, and now I feel I can create the best Watsonville community possible.

Alma Leonor-Sanchez, 18, Watsonville

We’re In This Together

Nonprofits are more important that ever in this trying time. Santa Cruz Gives! was created to support the local nonprofit community's Big Ideas (and programs). And thanks to your participation and generosity, Santa Cruz Gives! raised over $1.10 million for 82 local nonprofits in 2021.

SCGives! has now raised and contributed over $36 million dollars since its inception Seven years ago. That’s astounding. And wonderful. Thank you to all our Partners, Sponsors, nonprofit Board Directors, staff and volunteers — and each of our 1,455 donors. We did it, together.

Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November


The 2022 Santa Cruz Gives! RFP (for applying nonprofits) is due by Tuesday, September 7 and organizations will be notified of their application status Sept. 22-24. Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November.