Moving right along, the "ladies of the murals" plug away with unabashed excitement and joy. Actually, they do enjoy the work--between wind storms. What could be more fun than painting outside in fresh ocean air just a few yards from the beautiful wetlands of Watsonville?
Linda recently created a blue heron in flight and helped me paint two children planting native vegitation from a photo of high school students volunteering in the wetlands restoration education project. And like the energizer bunny, Kathy works the landscape.
Healthy freshwater wetlands are home to hundreds of species interconnected through a web of life. Aquatic invertebrates are the foundation of the delicate wetlands food web and are bioindicators of wetlands health; they can help us determine the health of an environment because they are sensitive to changes. Other examples of bioindicators are frogs and steelhead trout. The presence of sensitive organisms is a sign that the environment is fulfilling at least some of the basic needs for the survival of those organisms and that it may actually be healthy. During the month of October, 2010, every PV High freshman took to the sloughs to monitor aquatic invertebrates as part of their ecology unit for Integrated Science.
With the help of docents, PVHS students worked in small groups to identify each organism they collected. The creatures were placed into sensitivity groups, and at the end of the study students found that on average the water quality at the uppermost part of the West Branch of Struve Slough was fair during the month of October. Students and volunteers will continue this study and expand it over the long-term as part of Project Tierra.
this is a template---not a green heron