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The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Morro Bay Estuary (Management Plan) guides the Estuary Program science, conservation, restoration, and education work in the Morro Bay watershed. The Estuary Program released an updated Management Plan on April 30, 2013.

The Management Plan presents action plans to address priority issues facing the health of the Morro Bay estuary and watershed. Priority issues were identified through grassroots public participation, input from local partners and scientists, and more than a decade of estuary program experience working in the watershed.

The comprehensive update process (summarized here) gathered input from Estuary Program Staff, Bay Foundation Board Members, volunteers, local technical and science experts, and the public. The Estuary Program held three public meetings, four technical working groups (also open to the public), and two public comment periods. The Estuary Program stakeholder committees and Board of Directors approved the update of the Management Plan in February 2013.

The Conservation and Management Plan will guide all future Estuary Program efforts to keep Morro Bay clean and healthy - a clean bay ensures a great life for all of us.

The complete Management Plan and a Snapshot are available online.

Seven Priority Issues Facing the Estuary

  1. Accelerated sedimentation
  2. Bacterial contamination
  3. Elevated nutrient levels
  4. Toxic pollutants
  5. Scarce freshwater resources
  6. Preserving biodiversity
  7. Environmentally balanced uses

About the Action Plans

At the heart of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan are 58 action plans designed to support conservation and sound management of the estuary and watershed. These action plans are categorized into the following nine areas:
  1. Land Acquisition
  2. Water Quality Standards and Monitoring
  3. Best Management Practices
  4. Ecosystem Conservation and Restoration
  5. Watershed Crew
  6. Freshwater Resources
  7. Climate Change
  8. Environmentally Sound Estuarine Resource Use
  9. Education and Outreach

Each action plan includes information about specific tasks to be undertaken, list of potential partners, timeframe, cost estimates, and methods for tracking implementation of the action plan.
The actions plans were developed to leverage the work of the Estuary Program and its partners to have the greatest impact on addressing the priority issues affecting the estuary and watershed.

A summary table of the action plans is included on pages 26-28 of the full Management Plan and pages 7-9 of the Snapshot. The action plans are found in Chapter 3 (pages 36-119) of the Management Plan.

Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan Documents for Download (PDF files)

Snapshot (summary) (758KB)

Full Document (7.1MB)

Frequently Asked Questions about the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (58KB)

Individual Sections of the Management Plan

  1. Executive Summary thru Chapter 01-Introduction (1.4MB)
  2. Chapter 02-Priority Issues (886KB)
  3. Chapter 03-Action Plans (4.3MB)
  4. Chapter 04-Acronyms and Abbreviations thru Appendices (695KB)

Supplemental Documents:

  1. Comparison of 2001 vs. 2012 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (362KB)
  2. Education and Outreach in the 2012 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (294KB)
  3. Climate Change Summary in the 2012 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (277KB)
  4. Monitoring Program Quality Assurance Project Plan (Monitoring Plan): available upon request to the Morro Bay Estuary Program.
  5. Characterization Report for the Morro Bay Estuary (from Volume II, section 1 of the 2001 CCMP): available upon request to the Morro Bay Estuary Program.
  6. Base Programs Analysis for the Morro Bay Estuary (from Volume II, sections 5-6 of the 2001 CCMP): available upon request to the Morro Bay Estuary Program.

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