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Morro Bay National Estuary

Saturday Scientists at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History

Even the docents get involved. Christine Lanier (left) and Cheryl Powers (right) look at flowers under a dissecting scope during the “Mayflowers” Saturday Scientists program, which is typically held near Mother’s Day each year. Photograph courtesy of the Morro Bay Natural History Museum.

  Have you ever seen a toe-biter or a mayfly magnified to 30 times its normal size? Have you examined the root of an onion so closely that you could observe cells dividing in its root cap? Have you gotten a bee’s view of pollen on a flower stamen? If so, odds are that you’ve been to a Saturday Scientists program at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History. Saturday Scientists has been an institution at the museum for the past four years. These engaging two-hour-long programs draw in curious locals and visitors alike to examine specimens from the natural …

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Make a Day for the Bay Profile: Wendy Disch

One of Wendy's hauls. Photo courtesy of Wendy Disch.

  This summer and fall, the Morro Bay National Estuary Program is asking everyone who enjoys the estuary to Give a Day for the Bay to help keep it clean and healthy for all of us. We’ve worked with our partners to put together a variety of volunteer service activities for you to participate in. We also encourage you to Make a Day for the Bay by creating your own bay-friendly service activity at home. In order to inspire you, we’ve invited Wendy Disch, owner of éphé mer handmade beach apparel on the Embarcadero, to tell how she takes care …

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Preserving Today’s Morro Bay for the Future

City of Morro Bay Mayor, Jamie Irons (in blue shirt on left), poses with members of the Historical Society of Morro Bay and the Morro Bay 50th Celebration Committee at the time capsule site. A plaque commemorating the event will be installed on the large rock that sits over the capsule.

  In July of 2014, Morro Bay celebrated 50 years as an incorporated city and 150 years as a town. Residents enjoyed a full year of fun-filled events to commemorate this special anniversary. Many of these events focused on the natural beauty of Morro Bay. Participants took a New Year’s Day hike that started at Morro Rock, set out on two wheels for an eco-friendly Historical Bike Tour, planted trees at the Monarch Mixer, participated in a volunteer cleanup, and more. When the celebration came to a close last Friday, July 17, it made its own mark on history: the …

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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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