Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.

Morro Bay National Estuary

Give a Day for the Bay

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    Anyone who has visited the Morro Bay National Estuary knows that it’s a special place. It offers beautiful views, a wide range of recreational opportunities, delicious seafood, and critical habitat for diverse plant and wildlife species—many of which can’t be found anywhere else. In order to give back, we’re asking everyone who loves the estuary—locals and visitors alike, to Give a Day for the Bay. That is, to donate time to help keep Morro Bay clean and healthy for all of us. How to get involved Give a Day for the Bay is a volunteer campaign that stretches …

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Keeping it Clean – Our New Video “Clean Water, Great Life”

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Morro Bay is a unique place that is dear to many of our hearts. We value it for different reasons—fun on the water, delicious seafood, our livelihood, or even its restful views. All of this is made possible by clean water. The work of the Estuary Program is to protect this special place for many generations to come. As part of this effort, the Estuary Program conducts monitoring activities throughout the bay and watershed to track long-term trends in water quality. One parameter we track regularly is the level of bacteria in the bay. Volunteers venture to eight sites each …

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Bay-Friendly Summer Barbecues

  Summer is the season of barbecues, and—whether you’re having a few friends over to grill out back, or meeting a big group at the beach—there are some steps you can take to make your get-together friendlier for the bay.     Reduce waste Reducing solid waste is good for the estuary, since all manmade debris that ends up in the estuary originates on land.   Choose reusable silverware, dishes, and cups. Instead of purchasing plastic or paper, use dishes and silverware from home, or ask your guests to bring their own. Reusable dishes will stay where you put them, …

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Declare your independence from invasive plants!

Independence Day is less than 10 days away, and there are many traditional ways to celebrate. You might barbecue, take a picnic to the beach, head to Morro Bay’s Family Funday, watch a fireworks display, or just spend time with family and friends. This year, we’re asking you to add a new bay-friendly tradition to your day by declaring your independence from invasive plants. Invasive plants are non-native species that can quickly spread out of control, taking over the habitat of native plants. When this happens, local ecosystems are often damaged and degraded. According to the California Invasive Plant Council, …

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Father’s Day in Morro Bay

  Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday. If your family gets to spend the day with Dad, why not spend it in a beautiful place like Morro Bay? Here are some fun things to do on this special day. If your dad likes adventure, go paddling. There are a variety of local shops to rent from, and you’ll see animals like otters, seals, sea lions, pelicans, and cormorants in a new way when you view them from the water. Steer your kayak, canoe, or paddle board around the front bay, head towards Los Osos and explore the ins and outs of the …

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Poetry Contest Winners Celebrate the Morro Bay Estuary

  We’ve always said that the Morro Bay Estuary is an inspiring place, but now we have proof. During the three-week submission period for our poetry contest, local poets wrote and entered 94 poems that focused on the estuary. That’s at least 94 moments of inspiration that were powerful enough to make someone sit down, grab a pen, and start writing. That is impressive. Poets wrote on rainy nights while walking by the water. They wrote from school-desks in 7th grade classrooms. They wrote about what the estuary had given them—a sense of safety, or a sense of adventure, or …

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In Search of California Seablite

  Morro Bay National Estuary Program Staff and volunteers have been busy on the ground verifying locations of California seablite (Suaeda californica) based on past surveys and maps. If you’ve visited Morro Bay and walked the length of the Embarcadero, you’ve probably brushed up against this rare plant. California seablite is federally protected as an endangered species. It prefers to grow in some of the intertidal zone habitat that we have in Morro Bay. (Intertidal zones are under water at high tide and above water at low tide.) Eelgrass also used to occupy much of the intertidal area within the bay. …

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Morro Bay High School Students Make a Difference for the Estuary

  This spring, sophomore students at Morro Bay High School were asked to answer an important question, “How can we get young people to care about our local endangered species?” It’s an important question and a difficult task. To tackle it, they first had to learn about local species. So, they invited guest speakers in to teach them about twelve different species that are or have been under protection, including peregrine falcons and sea otters.   The students and their teachers decided that the best way to reach kids was through stories. So, while they studied these twelve species in their science classes, they …

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Do Your Spring Cleaning the Bay-Friendly Way

There’s a month left of spring, which means you still have time to do some serious spring cleaning. While you’re gutting your garage, polishing your furniture, and making sure your kitchen and bathroom are sparkling, please keep the estuary in mind.   The cleaners you use and the ways you discard old chemicals, paints, and other household items play a big role in the health of the bay. Use the bay-friendly cleaning tips below to make sure the estuary keeps sparkling, too.   Kitchen     When the kitchen mess gets overwhelming, you need a good all-purpose cleaner. To make …

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Reduce Your Water Use for the Morro Bay Estuary

It’s no news that we’re facing a prolonged drought in California. The drought affects both people and wildlife. With less rainwater running down hillsides, into creeks, and ending up in the Morro Bay estuary, the plants and animals that live in the watershed and the bay have to make do with less.   Fish, like the native California steelhead that travel down streams in our watershed, through the estuary, out into the ocean, and back again, face an especially grim fate. We can help steelhead and other species thrive by using less water, so that more is left for them. …

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