California Native Plant Society
Santa Cruz County Chapter

General Meeting
Monday January 8
Keying Club 5:00 pm
Presentation 7:30 pm

UCSC Arboretum Horticulture Building
1156 High Street, Santa Cruz

Jerry Busch
The Natural History and Uncertain Future of College Lake

You don't have to venture far into the College Lake basin to discover why it is a premier West Coast wintering area for waterfowl: the wetlands are neck-deep in waterfowl food plants. Local naturalist Jerry Busch, with a team of biotic consultants, has been studying College Lake for the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency since 2013, to compile baseline data about the wetland's use by plants and birds. The studies have revealed surprises in the year-to-year distribution of wetland plants, and raised questions about the potential effects of the PVWMA's proposed irrigation impoundment at the lake basin. Jerry will present some of the team's research and peer into the future of this vital South County resource.

Jerry BuschJerry Busch has been working to protect, restore and appreciate the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley since his student days at UCSC forty years ago, where he studied both biology and rabble-rousing. In 1982, Jerry conducted a rodent study in the Watsonville Slough System, hoping to discourage the California Department of Fish and Game from allowing peat mining. The mining permit was duly issued, but Jerry went on to co-found the Watsonville Wetlands Watch and help prevent the City of Watsonville from annexing lands west of Highway One. The Wetlands Watch also established a Santa Cruz tarplant reserve in Watsonville, published an award-winning collection of Jerry's essays about the Watsonville Wetlands (Watching the Watsonville Wetlands), and established a Wetlands Educational Resource Center on the campus of Pajaro Valley High School. Now the focus is all on College Lake, a 300-acre wetland/lake basin that, with community support, could become multi-use destination of regional significance.