Coastal Watershed Council Leads Tour to Amphibian Ponds

On September 14th, over twenty Water Tour attendees joined the Coastal Watershed Council, the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (RCD), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to tour the ephemeral ponds at Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Watsonville, CA. These ponds are the home of the endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, threatened California red-legged frog, and the threatened California tiger salamander. At this refuge, the RCD and US Fish and Wildlife Service joined together to build two ponds to attract breeding amphibians. These ponds fill in the winter and dry up in summer months just as the natural ponds that the salamanders use for breeding do. Restoration work at the refuge also includes removal of invasive species and construction to ensure proper passage for the amphibians across barriers like the busy road that borders the natural ponds at the slough. This tour was one of Coastal Watershed Council’s monthly Water Tours that highlight proper water management efforts in the Santa Cruz area. For more information on future Water Tours check out or email

Watershed Counsil