Mutts for the Bay

2017 DogFest


Picking up after your pet is one of the duties that come with having a furry companion in your life. It also helps keep our waters clean.


We’re here to help.

As you and your dog visit our beaches, parks, hiking trails, and special seaside spots, we help make it easy to do your duty and pick up after your pet. The Mutts for the Bay program provides free, biodegradable bags for picking up pet waste all over town and educates the public about keeping our bay clean. We maintain more than 27 dispensers throughout the watershed in partnership with the City of Morro Bay, the County of San Luis Obispo, and a group of dedicated community volunteers. It’s part of our commitment to protecting and restoring Morro Bay for people and animals alike. Help us continue our work with a donation (see below).


Dog poop is not a good fertilizer.

The 5,500 dogs that live in Morro Bay and Los Osos produce an average of 19,000 pounds (or about 9.5 tons) of dog poop each week.

If you consider that an average-size dog dropping produces nearly twice as much bacteria as human waste, all of that dog poop starts to sound like a health hazard. And it can be, if it’s left on the ground. When it rains, waste can seep into the ground and wash into local storm drains and waterways, ending up in the bay. The bacteria from all this waste can be harmful to people and to the environment.

Our 2017 State of the Bay report summarizes bay bacteria monitoring from 2005-2016. Bacteria levels at most locations meet water quality standards for recreational contact, although two locations in the back bay exceeded the standard in 20% or less of the samples tested. Keeping pet waste from entering the bay is one way to help reduce bacteria levels. The connection to water quality is important—picking up after your pet is not just about keeping our parks and lawns clean. It is also about clean water that we all enjoy.


Everything helps. Check out our Accomplishments page to learn how we got started. The Mutts for the Bay program wouldn’t be possible without donations from generous local businesses, residents, and visitors. In 2016 alone, these contributions helped to stock 358,600 bags in dispensers across the watershed.

Sponsor a dispenser for a year. Work with our team to choose your dispenser location. You can find available locations on our interactive Mutts for the Bay Map (open locations are labeled with an asterisk*). Sponsorship is $375, which is the average amount it takes to stock one dispenser for a year. To show our appreciation, we will work with you to create a customized dispenser sticker with your name, a dedication, or a business name.

Donate via PayPal (using the button below), or send a check made out to the Bay Foundation to 601 Embarcadero, Suite 11, Morro Bay, CA 93442. Small donations add up quickly!


Find a dispenser near you with our Mutts for the Bay Map below!


Supporters keep us going!  

Kathy Baker

Bayfront Inn

Virginia Cahill

Dorothy Christie

Dale Kaiser Real Estate

Grassy Bar Oyster Company

Kitchen & Bath Works

Lemos Feed and Pet Supply

Morro Cove Homeowner’s Association

Motel 6, Morro Bay

North Morro Bay Dog Owners

Rotary Club of Morro Bay

Paul & Shirley Vinson

Volunteers make it happen.

Our network of awesome volunteers make sure bags are stocked and the dispensers are in working order, and we are grateful for our volunteers’ dedication to helping keep our waters and public places clean.

Another special thanks goes to Diane Moore, our current Mutts for the Bay Volunteer Coordinator for many years and a caring neighbor for people, our furry friends, and our estuary.

10 Morro Creek Bridge 3


  • An average-size dog dropping produces nearly twice as much bacteria as human waste
  • Dog poop is not good fertilizer. It’s can kill grass and other plants.
  • An average dog creates 3.5 pounds of poop every week.
  • SLO County is home to more than 62,000 dogs. That’s more than 217,000 pounds of dog poop each week!
  • Morro Bay and Los Osos are home to about 5,500 dogs. That’s more than more than 19,000 pounds (or 9.5 tons) of dog poop per week.
  • Dog poop can take up to a year to break down.


Morro Bay National Estuary Program brings together citizens, local governments, non-profits, agencies, and landowners to protect and restore the Morro Bay estuary.

Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.