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Wetlands Stewards

Wetlands Stewards has three focus areas:
1) Educate students on the topics of watershed ecology and wetlands conservation
2) Promote wetlands stewardship actions and activities among youth
3) Prepare high school students with life and work-readiness skills while exposing them to environmental conservation vocational and career paths.
This program offers quarter-long filed trip oriented programming to 300 elementary and middle school students yearly.  Our vision is to build environmental leaders by fostering stewardship early on and providing continued opportunities for student to get involved in protecting the local wetlands.


WATSONVILLE — The Wetland Stewards Program is a hands-on, experiential science after-school program with a mentoring component provided for Pajaro Valley High School students.
This year, thanks to several supporters, Watsonville Wetlands Watch was able to award four scholarships to past and present senior Wetland Stewards. The Haifley Family Scholarship went to Nuria Garcia (Class of 2016), the Freedom Lions Club scholarships went to Dulce Garcia and Maria Perez and the Hofmeister scholarship went to Maria Perez.
Maria Perez
Dulce Garcia
Maria Perez
Dulce Garcia
Four of the 12 stewards are graduating from Pajaro Valley High School and will go on to study at the University of California Davis, the University of California Berkeley, California State University Los Angeles and San Francisco State University.
Throughout the school year, the Wetland Steward interns are trained in indoor and outdoor classrooms by Watsonville Wetlands Watch’s education staff, by visiting scientists and experts, and through the Stewards’ own mentoring of younger students. The Stewards work with Watsonville Wetlands Watch staff and docents to lead visiting elementary and middle-school groups through outdoor inquiry-based activities during after school programs offered throughout the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Middle and elementary student participants in turn report an increase in their knowledge and understanding of the importance of Watsonville’s wetlands, their comfort and enjoyment in spending time outdoors, their desire to improve the environment, and their interest in sharing this passion and knowledge with friends and family, according to Watsonville Wetlands Watch.
Ninety-nine Pajaro Valley High School students have graduated from the Wetland Stewards program since the program’s inception in 2007 and nearly 100 percent have gone on to attend college.
“We are thrilled to be a part of supporting these incredible young people as they become environmental leaders," Education Programs Director Emily Howard said. "Our hope is to see our Wetland Stewards expand their knowledge in college and bring that expertise back to the Watsonville community.”
A new group of 12 Wetland Stewards interns was hired this past spring and will start the program this fall at Pajaro Valley High School.