A Network for Voluntary Conservation
The Pajaro River watershed includes productive farms and ranches, rich natural areas, and culturally significant places, all at the intersection of expanding communities and growing infrastructure networks. While complex, this landscape also holds great opportunity for both nature conservation and productive agriculture, due to the many ways in which these places and stakeholders overlap.
The Pajaro Compass supports a committed group of partners who champion these many values of the Pajaro River watershed for people and nature and, through coordinated action, ensure that agricultural and open space lands support these values in balance with new opportunities.
Above all, the Pajaro Compass provides a dynamic gateway for landowners and managers, public agencies, conservation organizations, funders, and elected officials to learn, connect, and engage in efforts to maintain a healthy and productive Pajaro River watershed.
The Pajaro River watershed is an area of approximately 1,300 square miles, and includes portions of three mountain ranges: Santa Cruz, Gabilan and Diablo. The Pajaro River watershed’s rivers, tributaries, and creeks ultimately drain into Monterey Bay. Geologically complex, the Pajaro River watershed straddles the Pacific and North American Plates, bisected by the active San Andreas Fault. Lying within four counties—Santa Clara and Santa Cruz in the north, and San Benito and Monterey in the south—the region includes the cities of Gilroy, Watsonville, and Hollister and a population of approximately 140,000 people.