Local member makes video on Plight of the Pajaro
Lois Robin, a member of the Club's Santa Cruz Group Executive Committee
has produced a video, Stuck in the Mud: The Pajaro River in Peril
which documents the challenges to the Pajaro River watershed. The
Pajaro River originates in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Gabilan
and Diablo Ranges, passing through communities in four counties before
emptying into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary after it
||Fluvial geomorphologist, Dr.
Robert Curry, unintentionally illustrates the sediment problem on the
Pajaro River by getting stuck in the mud below the Hilsdale sand and
gravel operation near San Juan Baptista.
Photo: Lois Robin
This immense watershed brings with it a raft of problems associated
with agriculture, construction and mining along its course. Nitrates
and chemicals from agriculture move into the Monterey Bay contaminating
sea life as well as freshwater life in the river. Mining and logging
plug the river with sediment, destroying habitat for fish and amphibians.
Removal of trees along the levees has destroyed habitat and depleted
the once-dense bird life of the lower Pajaro. Towns built along
the river floodplain have constricted the natural movement of the
The video advocates authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to
develop a complete watershed-wide plan rather than dealing only
with the 12 downstream miles of the river. It advocates the Sierra
Club position of environmental restoration along with flood protection.
And it advocates for public access to the river for recreation.
The video will be featured at the Ventana Chapter luncheon on August
27 and will be shown on public television in various communities
throughout the watershed. Consult your local TV listings for viewing
"Stuck in the Mud" is an independent production by Lois
Robin who in addition to serving on the Santa Cruz Group Executive
Committee is co-chair of the Pajaro River Watershed Committee. The
documentary can be purchased in DVD or VHS formats for $10.00 from
Lois Robin, Robin@baymoon.com
or from the Santa Cruz Sierra Club office, 426-HIKE.
Much of the cost of the video was self-funded by Robin in addition
to a small grant from Ken and Ethelyn Miller of Watsonville. Some
of the footage was recycled from video taken for the recent multi-media
art exhibit on the Pajaro River.
Currently Robin is raising money for distribution. Those wishing
to make a tax-deductible contribution may contact Lois at the email
address above or call 464-1184 for information on how to contribute.
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