Thursday, June 29, 2017

Advice from Owlie- Coastal Wetlands

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie,
I'm so excited that school is out for summer! My family and I are going on our annual summer vacation to Huntington Beach, next week. I want to show them that I am a wetlands expert. Can you tell me about coastal wetlands and their function? I also know how important it is to keep our environment clean, so that it can perform it's functions properly. Would you mind sharing some of the ways we can do our part to protect these wetlands? Thank you so much for your help! 

Beach Bound Preserver 

A: Dear Beach Bound Preserver
Your beach trip sounds so exciting! I love coastal wetlands! Coastal wetlands are found in coastal watersheds and include saltwater (tidal wetlands) and freshwater (non-tidal wetlands). Coastal wetlands function's include flood protection, erosion prevention, food and a habitat for wildlife, and filters chemicals and sediments before reaching the ocean. For these wetlands to thrive, they depend on the health and maintenance of the watersheds that they come from. Since wetlands are one of the world's most valuable ecosystems, and have so many important functions that help our environment, it is vital that we do everything in our power to protect them. When you are there enjoying the beauty of the coastal wetlands, practice these environmental saving tips; pick up any trash that you see, try to use paper and recycled products made from unbleached paper, and try not to use heavy equipment that would harm the camping ground area you are at. I hope that this helps you enjoy your vacation with peace of mind knowing that you are helping to preserve your environment! 

Til next time! 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Advice from Owlie - #tiptuesday National Ice Cream Soda Day

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
When I went on a Water Discovery field trip to the Chino Creek Wetlands and Educational Park we made an Edible Aquifer. It was so much fun that I want to make one today in honor of National Ice Cream Soda day! Would you mind sharing the recipe with me, and explaining what an aquifer is again? I would greatly appreciate it! 

I Scream for Ice Cream 

A: Dear I Scream for Ice Cream,
I would be more than happy to help you out! Making an Edible Aquifer is one of my favorite activities during the Water Discovery Trips! First things first! An aquifer is underground layer of rocks and soil that hold water. Some aquifers can sit just a few feet underground, while others sit hundreds of feet underground! Before you do this activity, make sure you have your parent's permission and help!

The materials you need will be:

  • A clear cup 
  • Clear soda of choice
  • Cookie Crumbles
  • Gummy bears
  • Ice cream
  • Sprinkles
  • A drinking straw


1. Fill your cup with clear soda. This represents the groundwater. 
2. Cover the clear soda one-third of the way with cookie crumbles. This represents the layer of the sand, gravel, and rocks in the aquifer. 
3. Pour gummy bears into the cup. This represents the hard rocks. 
4. For the layer of clay or dense rock, called the confining layer, use one scoop of ice cream
5. Then, add a layer of cookie crumbles on top of the "clay" (ice cream), to represent the gravel and sand. 
6. Add sprinkles to the the top of this to represent the layer of soil, grass, fertilizers and pesticides. This layer also represents the pollutants that could harm our safe drinking water. 
7. Using your straw, drill a well into the center of your aquifer and push it down to the bottom of the cup. Try drinking the edible aquifer to see how difficult it can be for the water to move throughout a real aquifer.  
8. Add a little more clear soda to the top to represent rain fall that replenishes the aquifer.

And there you have it! An edible aquifer! 


Download the PDF here:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Advice from Owlie - Newest Water Conservator

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
I see that you are answering questions about wetlands. I am a new reader, and I want to know the basics. What exactly is a wetland, and what does it have to do with water efficiency? 

Newest Water Conservator 

A: Dear Newest Water Conservator:
I am so glad you asked! Many people seem to have the same question. A wetland is the intersection between water and land, and is considered to be one of the most productive ecosystems in the world. To be a wetland, an area must be soaked or filled with water part of the year. In some cases, some wetlands can be dry during different parts of the year. They also provide a habitat for various types of wildlife. Wetlands help with water efficiency by acting like a sponge during flood seasons, filtering pollutants from our water, helping clean our water, and absorbing wind and tidal forces. Here at the Chino Creek Wetlands and Educational park, we have six ponds that filter, and help clean, about a million gallons of water a day. That water will eventually make it out to Huntington beach! How cool is that?!

Hope that helped!

Your friend, 

Here is a picture from my trip when I went up the coast to Malibu Lagoon!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Advice from Owlie - Curious Outdoor Adventurer

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie,

How are you? Where have you been?! It's June now, and I was wondering if you knew that it is Great Outdoors month? I was hoping you could share a summer climate wetlands fact with me?

Curious Outdoor Adventurer

A: Dear Curious Outdoor Adventurer,
I am doing great! After my hibernation during the winter months, I took a semester long trip with my Owl School to different wetlands around California.Yes, I do know that it is Great Outdoors month, and I am so excited to share my newfound knowledge with you! One interesting fact I learned about wetlands is that duckweed grows at the bottom of the pond during the colder months and rises to the top during warmer months. Duckweed is the result of the abundance of nutrients flowing throughout the pond, and provides food for our ducks. Pretty cool right?! More facts to come! Thanks again for your question!

Stay tuned!