Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.

From the Director’s Desk: State of the Bay Update

From the Director’s Desk: State of the Bay Update

Our Earth Day Pickup and Paddle event drew a wonderful crowd of volunteers who cleaned up the bay and shoreline by paddleboard.

 

 

From the Director’s Desk is a twice-yearly blog series, written by Executive Director Lexie Bell. Lexie plans and directs the program’s work, and collaborates with the Estuary Program’s many partners to expand our collective success in the watershed. Lexie first began working in Morro Bay as a graduate student at the UC Santa Barbara Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Her graduate work analyzed the economic impact of visitors’ perceptions of environmental quality in Morro Bay. In addition to her Master’s degree, Lexie graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Biology. Previously, Lexie worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Education, the Nature Conservancy, and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute. A native of Florida, Lexie now lives with her family in Los Osos and enjoys our beautiful Central Coast beaches at every opportunity.

Morro Bay National Estuary Program Executive Director, Lexie Bell

Morro Bay National Estuary Program Executive Director, Lexie Bell

 

Our State of the Bay events have come to a close. Our final weekend included both our annual Estuary Poetry Contest at Coalesce Bookstore and DogFest in Morro Bay’s beautiful City Park. I want to thank the hundreds of people (over 900!) that participated in these many events. Your personal engagement with our estuary creates ripples of change as you interact with the environment in new and different ways and encourage those around you to love and protect our bay.

Our annual DogFest festival combines family- and fur-friendly fun with information about how dog owners can help keep our bay clean by picking up after their pets.

Our annual DogFest festival combines family- and fur-friendly fun with information about how dog owners can help keep our bay clean by picking up after their pets.

Our annual poetry contest encourages writers of all ages to write haiku and free verse poems about the estuary and the lands that drain into it. This photograph shows our 2017 contest winners and two of our judges at our celebratory reading at Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay.

Our annual poetry contest encourages writers of all ages to write haiku and free verse poems about the estuary and the lands that drain into it. This photograph shows our 2017 contest winners and two of our judges at our celebratory reading at Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay. From left to right: Patti Sullivan (guest judge), Eliza Black, Matthew McCauley, Ted Schade, Adam Rainbolt, Campbell Ellery, Marnie Parker, Tobey Crockett, Jerry Douglas Smith (guest judge). Glenna Luschei (guest judge) and Michael Kinter (haiku contest winner) not pictured.

Protecting and restoring the bay is not a job the Estuary Program can do alone. From our start more than 20 years ago, we have relied on our community, our partners, and many of you to create positive change for our bay. It all starts with learning.

We gave a talk about our dynamic bay, focusing on eelgrass, sediment, and climate change, at Luis Wine Bar during Science After Dark.

We gave a talk about our dynamic bay, focusing on eelgrass, sediment, and climate change, at Luis Wine Bar during Science After Dark.

When you come to a science talk and learn how land on the hills connects to water in the bay, your connection to the estuary deepens. That connection can lead to bay friendly gardening, colorful conversations with friends, and picking up trash along the shore. Thank you for creating or strengthening that connection throughout our State of the Bay event series this year. We hope it continues for many more years!

Our Earth Day Pickup and Paddle event drew a wonderful crowd of volunteers who cleaned up the bay and shoreline by paddleboard.

Our Earth Day Pickup and Paddle event drew a wonderful crowd of volunteers who cleaned up the bay and shoreline by paddleboard.

Shane Bennett, Morro Bay National Estuary Program Monitoring Coordinator, gets ready to head out on the bay to pitch in on Earth Day.

Shane Bennett, Morro Bay National Estuary Program Monitoring Coordinator, gets ready to head out on the bay to pitch in on Earth Day.

State of the Bay happens every three years, but we are here working hard for the bay every day! You can connect with us online or visit our Nature Center at 601 Embarcadero. Subscribe to this blog to get weekly updates on science, water quality, and more. You can also support the work of the Estuary Program by donating today at www.mbnep.org/donate.

One of our current projects is collecting bug samples and information about habitat quality from sites along our local creeks. In May alone, volunteers spent more than 80 hours in this pursuit.

One of our current projects is collecting bug samples and information about habitat quality from sites along our local creeks. In May alone, volunteers spent more than 80 hours in this pursuit.

As always, we encourage everyone to explore our estuary through science even beyond State of the Bay. Look through a microscope at the Morro Bay State Park Museum, visit our Nature Center and spot wildlife through our new mounted scope and viewing station, paddle the bay and watch flocks of birds and curious harbor seals, and hike Black Hill for a view of the watershed.

 


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