State Of The Bay

State of the Bay

State of the Bay


State of the Bay is a science-based assessment of the health of Morro Bay by Morro Bay National Estuary Program. The report presents data collected over five years, and the results on water quality, sedimentation, bird populations, eelgrass monitoring, and many other aspects of bay health.

2014 State of the Bay   Click here to read our latest findings: State of the Bay 2014 (PDF)

Each year that we publish a State of the Bay report, we also hold a series of events that educate local citizens about the health of Morro Bay. The next report will be released around 2017.

Quick Facts 2014:

Is water in the creeks and bay clean enough for fish and aquatic life?
• Some areas are healthy and others are degraded.

Is the bay filling in at an unnatural rate?
• Yes, the flow of sediment to the bay is accelerated by human activities within the watershed. In addition, rainfall patterns greatly influence how much sediment is deposited in any given year.

Is Morro Bay safe for swimming?
• Yes, in most areas.

Does Morro Bay support healthy eelgrass beds?
• No, the amount of eelgrass in the bay is declining rapidly.

Is the bay clean enough to support commercial shellfish farming?
• Yes, in currently active harvesting areas.

Are important natural areas being protected, enhanced, and restored?
• Yes, over 3,700 acres have been protected and over 400 acres have been restored or enhanced.

Are bird populations that depend on the bay habitat stable?
• Yes, most bird populations in the Morro Bay watershed are stable, but some birds face difficult conditions.

How will climate change likely affect the Morro Bay watershed and estuary?
• Predictions suggest changes in precipitation patterns and amounts, sea level rise, and loss of important habitats.

Does the estuary and watershed support a healthy population of steelhead?
• No, the local steelhead population continues to be threatened even with some habitat improvements.

What can you do to help keep Morro bay clean and healthy?
• Volunteer. Pledge to help keep water clean. Donate. And more!


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.