Great Blue Heron

Scientific: Ardea herodias
Spanish: Garza ceniza
Mutsun: Aareh

Diet: Fish, amphibians, reptiles and small mammals
Habitat: Near fresh and saltwater
Status: Least Concern

Great blue herons have a six foot wingspan and a long beak, neck, and legs to aid in hunting. Locally they can be spotted year round near water where they hunt on the banks or roost in trees, like the eucalyptus overlooking the San Lorenzo River mouth.


Scientific: Schoenoplectus acutus
Spanish: Tule
Awaswas: Rookush

Tule is a salt-tolerant plant that many wetland animals use for nesting materials and food.  Indigenous people also used tule to build houses and an array of items like baskets, mats and even boats. While tule can withstand periods of drought, they do best when the rhizomes are submerged in up to a foot of standing water.


An Ecosystem Powerhouse

Wide and flat, with plants that slow the flow of water that settles down into thick mud, wetlands connect land and water. Wetlands filter the water that flows through them, prevent flooding and erosion, and recharge aquifers. They are crucial habitats that support biodiversity and benefit human communities, but many wetlands have been drained for agriculture and urban development.

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