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Central Valley Wetlands History Takes Center Stage

A special presentation on state wetlands is coming up at the State Theatre in Modesto on Sunday, April 7 at 2 p.m.

The theatre is at 1307 J St.

California’s Central Valley once contained four million acres of permanent and seasonal wetlands, which supported millions of migratory waterfowl and other waterbirds of the Pacific Flyway. After statehood in 1850, Californians began to drain or “reclaim” these wetlands at an astounding rate throughout the entire valley. During the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, we have been protecting and restoring valley wetlands, the result of a profound shift in our views about the natural world. These histories, which include colorful, larger-than-life characters such as Henry Miller, reveal unintended consequences of the manipulation of nature, as well as surprising connections between wildlife and reclamation, flood control, agriculture, and ranching.

Philip Garone, Chair of History at California State University, Stanislaus, will explore the history of wetland loss and recovery in the Sacramento Valley and, especially, here in the San Joaquin Valley. Barry Boulton and Sal Salerno, local Audubon Chapter Presidents, will use video techniques to show and discuss the behaviors and lifestyles – often comical and surprising but always fascinating – of many bird species such as cranes, geese, ducks and shorebirds that make the Central Valley wetlands their winter home.

Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; presentation starts at 2 p.m.

The event is scheduled to run for two hours, with intermission and refreshments. Tickets are $10 (Admission charge waived for Stanislaus State students with a current ID at the door).

For online ticket sales go to To purchase your tickets by phone call the Box Office at 209-527-4697 from noon to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. If still available, tickets may also be purchased the day of the event up to the start of the presentation.

For more information contact Barry Boulton, Central Sierra Audubon (209) 596-0612. The presentation is sponsored by Stanislaus Audubon Society, Central Sierra Audubon Society and California State University, Stanislaus.