State Of The Bay

Russ_White_Credit State of the Bay 2017

State of the Bay 2017—Explore our estuary through science!

 

Every three years, the Estuary Program releases a State of the Bay report. This science-based assessment of the health of Morro Bay estuary and watershed presents data collected over five years. Through interesting articles, graphs, and illustrations, this publication shares what the data means for water quality, sedimentation, bird populations, eelgrass beds, and many other important aspects of a healthy bay.

To accompany this State of the Bay report, the Estuary Program and our partners present an exciting lineup of science-focused, hands-on activities, talks, walks, hikes throughout April and into May. Learn about water-wise gardens, taste a custom ale, get inspired by art, look through a microscope, participate in a shoreline cleanup, paddle the bay with friends, and much more.

Join us each week as we #exploreourestuary through science.

 

2017 State of the Bay Report


Pick up your copy at any of our State of the Bay events (details below), at our office, or from our Nature Center.

Cover image

 


Download the 2017 State of the Bay report.

 

 

 
 
 

2017 State of the Bay Events


Find the events that are right for you, your family, and even a few friends while you are at it! Whether you’re getting out in nature, joining us at a science-talk, or indulging in some tasty bites and sips, we can’t wait to see you throughout the month as we help educate locals and visitors alike on the health of the bay.

SOTB Calendar_Final

Jump to the week or info you want to see using the links below, or just scroll down the page to see complete details!

Week 1: March 26-April 1
Week 2: April 2-8
Week 3: April 9–15
Week 4: April 16–22
Week 5: April 23–29
Events in May
Partners and Sponsors
State of the Bay Quick Facts

Need reminders of times and dates?

Download the State of the Bay poster of events.

Download the State of the Bay event postcard.

 

 

Week 1: March 26-April 1


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CLEAN WATER TALK & WILD ALE LAUNCH

Saturday, April 1

4–6 p.m. Talk at 5 p.m.

The Libertine Pub in Morro Bay (upstairs)

Free, all-ages event. Purchase not required.

Great beer requires clean water. Learn about the health of local streams and the bay from Morro Bay National Estuary Program Assistant Director Ann Kitajima, while you sip on Libertine Brewing‘s new Morro Bay Gose, with local avocado honey, citrus zest, seaweed, and saltwater. This steal-the-glass event benefits the Estuary Program. $10 will buy you a pint of the Morro Bay Gose, a Libertine logo glass, and an Estuary Program bamboo coaster. Refills of any Libertine beer are only $5.

Morro Bay Gose will be served at Libertine Pub in Morro Bay and Libertine Brewing in San Luis Obispo until barrels run dry. For each pint purchased at the Morro Bay location, Libertine will donate $1 to the Estuary Program.

This delicious wild ale will also be available at Luis Wine Bar in San Luis Obispo at our Science After Dark Talk on April 18.

 

Week 2: April 2-8


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TIKI ROCK HIKE

Sunday, April 2

9 a.m.

Trailhead off South Bay Boulevard.

Join ECOSLO docent, Evan, for this fun, educational hike to a landmark in the Morro Bay watershed. Hike details here.

CRESPI TRAIL HIKE

Monday, April 3

10 a.m.

Trailhead (Chumash Trailhead on Turri Road. About 1/3 mile east of South Bay Boulevard.)

2 miles, moderate walk, 1.5 hours. No dogs please.

Join State Parks Docents Better Bardeen, Jerry Kirkhart, Barb Renshaw, and Jeff Reifel for this hike through the back country of Morro Bay State Park. Admire the views of the bay and Hollister Peak and a grove of oak trees along the Crespi Trail. Bring water to drink, and wear your hiking shoes. Some poison oak.

WINDY COVE MUDFLATS & TIDE POOLS

Thursday, April 6

2 p.m.

Morro Bay Museum of Natural History (meet at the “Nature Walk” sign in front)

Easy family walk, 1-2 hour. Rain cancels. No dogs please.

Join State Parks Docent Faylla Chapman on a walk to Windy Cove below the Museum. Learn about the plants, the mud and the organisms that inhabit the mud and the rocks around the cove. Dress for the weather and wear shoes that can get muddy; no bare feet.

BLACK HILL HIKE

Friday, April 7

10 a.m.

Morro Bay State Park Campground (meet at the picnic area)

Active hike, 3 miles, 2-2.5 hrs. Rain cancels. No dogs please.

Join Rouvaishyana, Manager of Morro Bay Natural History Museum, to hike to the summit of Black Hill from the Morro Bay campground. We will walk 1.5 miles with an elevation gain of 660 ft. to the summit. Enjoy a spectacular view from atop the hill. Bring binoculars, long pants and good shoe tread suggested. Chance of poison oak.

SATURDAY AT THE GARDEN: BAY-FRIENDLY YARDS

Saturday, April 8

1 p.m.

San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

Planning a beautiful and colorful garden in windy, sandy, and sea-sprayed coastal communities on the central coast can be tricky. Join a local SLO Master Gardener for some tips on creating a home garden in harmony with the natural environment that also helps preserve the health of our sensitive estuary. Presentation is followed by a free docent-led tour of the Garden at 2PM.

Presentation is $5 for Garden members / $10 for public. Proceeds benefit the SLO Botanical Gardens. No pre-registration required. More information here.

Week 3: April 9–15


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CHUMASH TRAIL HIKE

Sunday, April 9

9 a.m.

Join ECOSLO docents Carolyn, Jim, and Sue for this fun, educational hike through some of the lesser-known areas of Morro Bay State Park and the Morro Bay watershed. Hike details here.

SALT MARSH TO MUDFLATS

Tuesday, April 11

1 p.m.

State Park Marina Peninsula boardwalk

Easy walk, 0.5 miles, 2 hours. Rain cancels. No dogs please.

Join State Parks Docent Faylla Chapman on a walk along the State Park Marina Peninsula boardwalk. Learn the history of the salt marsh and the plants and animals living in this specialized environment. Dress for wind, weather, and mud. Bring binoculars. Park close to east end of Bayside marina parking lot or across the street at the Morro Bay State Park campground restrooms.

MORRO BAY WATERSCAPES: ART & SCIENCE RECEPTION

Friday, April 14

5–8 p.m., stop by anytime

Gallery at Marina Square

See Morro Bay Waterscapes, an art and science showcase, featuring Ardella Swanberg and Don Doubledee with other artists from the Gallery at Marina Square. Featured artists will be doing live art demos. Snacks and punch will be served. Show continues through April. Regular Gallery hours are 10 a.m.–6 p.m., seven days a week.

SHOWING OF OF MARSHES AND MORROS AT THE BAY THEATRE

Saturday, April 15

12:30 p.m., doors open at 11:30 a.m.

Bay Theatre in Morro Bay

$10 per person. The event proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit of each filmmaker’s choice.

Of Marshes and Morros by Simo Nylander won the Central Coast Filmmakers Best Documentary Short award at the 2017 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. It tells the story of the grassroots effort involving the local community that established our program. Through a collection of important local voices, the film describes the power and importance of past, present, and future stewards of Morro Bay. Filmmaker is donating proceeds to the Estuary Program.
The California Condors of Big Sur by Tim Huntington and a 19-minute sneak preview of When There Once Was Water: A California Story by Brittany App will be presented alongside the winning film.

SATURDAY SCIENTISTS: AQUATIC INSECTS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

Saturday, April 15

2–4 p.m.

Morro Bay Natural History Museum

Join State Parks Docents Claudia Freitas and Karen Watts to learn about the insects that inhabit our local streams and how they are useful as indicators of the health of a creek. Using the museum’s binocular microscopes, you will be amazed to observe the intricate and beautiful structures that are an inspiration to science fiction writers and fly fishermen everywhere. Meet at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History Auditorium. Family-friendly event.

Week 4: April 16–22


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CERRO CABRILLO & TIKI ROCK HIKE

Sunday, April 16

9 a.m.

Join ECOSLO docents, Dale and Katie, for this fun, educational hike to two high points in the Morro Bay watershed. Meet at trailhead off South Bay Boulevard. Hike details here.

SCIENCE AFTER DARK: A CHANGING BAY

Tuesday, April 18

6–8 p.m.

Luis Wine Bar, San Luis Obispo

Wind down with a glass of wine or beer and hear from Morro Bay National Estuary Program Director Lexie Bell about the eelgrass, earth, and dynamic waters of Morro Bay. Part of a seasonal series by CCSTEM.

SALT MARSH TO MUDFLATS

Wednesday, April 19

5:30 p.m.

State Park Marina Peninsula boardwalk

Easy walk, 0.5 miles, 2 hours. Rain cancels. No dogs please.

Join State Parks Docent Faylla Chapman on an evening walk along the State Park Marina Peninsula boardwalk. Learn the history of the salt marsh and the plants and animals living in this specialized environment. Dress for wind, weather, and mud. Bring binoculars. Park close to east end of Bayside marina parking lot or across the street at the Morro Bay State Park campground restrooms.

EARTH DAY PICK UP & PADDLE

Saturday, April 22

8–11 a.m.

Tidelands Park, Morro Bay

Celebrate Earth Day by joining fellow paddlers on the bay and participating in a shoreline cleanup. Meet local volunteer groups that are working to keep the bay clean, safe, and wildlife friendly. Please bring your own kayak or paddleboard, or rent one on site from Morro Bay Stand Up Paddleboarding at 50% off.

Bagels, coffee, and paddleboard rentals available while supplies last. Come early! Pickup supplies provided. Please bring sturdy gardening gloves, if you have them.

WHITE’S POINT VISTA

Saturday, April 22

11 a.m.

Morro Bay Natural History Museum

Moderate walk, 0.5 miles, 0.75 hours. Rain cancels. No dogs please.

Join State Parks Docent Molly Stoddard to enjoy a short, steep walk to view the estuary, home to hundreds of marine and terrestrial animals. Learn about the forces creating and changing this watery world. Dress for wind and weather.

Week 5: April 23–29


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DISCOVER THE HIDDEN TREASURES OF MORRO BAY THROUGH THE MICROSCOPE

Sunday, April 23

2 p.m.

Morro Bay Natural History Museum (meet at the auditorium)

Join State Parks Docent Karen Watts to learn about some of our planet’s most fascinating, seldom seen life-forms. A video-microscope will be used to look at the life that exists in a single drop of water. Talk, 1 hour.

BIRDING THE BOARDWALK

Wednesday, April 26

2 p.m.

Morro Bay State Park Marina

Easy walk, 1 mile, 1.5 hours. Rain cancels. No dogs please.

Join State Parks Docent Claudia Freitas and a stroll while identifying shorebirds and more. Beginning birders welcome. Bring binoculars and field guide. Dress for wind and weather. Park close to east end of Morro Bay State Park Bayside marina parking lot.

SCIENCE AT THE MUSEUM: BIRDS, FISH, AND THE NECESSITY OF A HEALTHY BAY

Thursday, April 27

6–8 p.m.

Morro Bay Natural History Museum

Guest speakers focus on the importance of the Morro Bay estuary and watershed habitats to wildlife. Ann-Marie Osterback, PhD, of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service will discuss iconic steelhead. A panel of local experts will discuss how Morro Bay supports bird populations.

ELFIN FOREST SCIENCE WALK & TALK: ALL ABOUT THE ESTUARY

Saturday, April 29

9:30 a.m.

Elfin Forest, Los Osos (15th Street Entrance)

Easy-paced walk, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

What is an estuary? Why is the Morro Bay estuary important to the Elfin Forest, and vice versa? A knowledgeable walk leader from the Morro Bay National Estuary Program will explain the importance of this body of water as we walk around the Elfin Forest boardwalk. Carolyn Doehring, the Estuary Program’s Restoration Projects Manager, will talk about the 48,000-acre watershed that feeds the estuary, threats to estuary health, the state of eelgrass, and the Estuary Program’s conservation work. Plus, participants will learn how they can help to protect this vital natural resource in their everyday lives.

Meet at the north end (1100 block) of 15th Street off Santa Ysabel in Los Osos. Wear comfortable shoes, long sleeves and pants to avoid poison oak and mosquitoes. Please park carefully, avoiding driveways and mailboxes, and leave pets at home.

BELLY BIOLOGY

Saturday, April 29

2:00 p.m.

Coast Guard Station Parking Lot, 1275 Embarcadero, Morro Bay

Investigate and collect organisms from fouling communities that thrive on our local docks.  Learn about a variety of fascinating invertebrates (anemones, worms, crabs, shrimp, brittle stars, barnacles, mollusks, tunicates, bryozoans, sponges, colorful nudibranchs), as well as some amazing seaweeds.  Bring a towel to lie on and meet in the parking lot in front of the Coast Guard office in Morro Bay.  Family event.  Recommended for children over 8.

Events in May


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A NATIONAL TREASURE IN WORDS POETRY CONTEST, 2017

Submissions due April 30, by email. Contest details at MBNEP.ORG/poetry2017. Winners and judges give a celebratory reading at Coalesce Bookstore on Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m.

DOGFEST 2017

Saturday, May 20

11 a.m.–2 p.m.

City Park, Morro Bay

Bring your dog and enjoy fun demonstrations, play games, and see how you and your furry friends can help keep our waters clean.

 

 

2017 State of the Bay Partners and Sponsors


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Local businesses and organizations have teamed up with us to highlight the importance of a clean, healthy, and connected estuary. Check out how they are inspiring and giving back in the ways they know best.

ESTERO

This apparel and gear company specially-designed an estuary graphic as they inspire people to respect and also enjoy our awesome natural playground. ESTERO will be donating 10% of proceeds from these estuary graphic items to our program to help preserve the place where freshwater meets the salty sea.

@ESTEROpaddle / esteropaddle.com

Libertine Brewing Company

This local brewery, specializing in wild ales that are utilize the area’s natural offerings, has created a custom ale in celebration of clean water. After all, great beer requires clean water, and their new Morro Bay Gose is made with just that as well as locally-sourced saltwater, seaweed, avocado honey, and citrus zest.

$1 per pint of this estuary-inspired wild ale purchased at the Morro Bay Pub (their original location on the waterfront) will be donated to the Estuary Program to help protect and restore Morro Bay.

The Morro Bay Gose is also available at their new SLO location. Donations accepted on-site or visit MBNEP.org/donate.

@libertinebrew / libertinebrewing.com

TreatSLO

The bakery that gives back creates delicious goodies that strives to use local, seasonal ingredients from the bounty of our beautiful, coastal region. Purchase a made-from-scratch treat here, or find out how to place a custom order of artisanal baked goods at TreatSLO.com. 5% of proceeds from treats sold in April will be donated to the Estuary Program to help keep our bay clean and healthy. Indulge your sweet tooth and make a difference.

@treat_slo / treatslo.com

CA State Parks            New Logo_Unofficial from Facebook                  ECOSLO with padding                     Estero Estuary Graphic 

     Gallery at Marina Square Logo               libertine-verticall-logo-1-black-web               MG_logo-v2014                         Morro Bay Stand Up Paddleboarding Logo_FromFacebook       

 SLOBG logo color2_vertical    SCI_Graphic_ScienceAfterDark_FINALLOGO SWAP-Tree (added text, not official)    TreatSLO from Facebook

 

2017 State of the Bay Quick Facts


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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 declined rapidly. Though the rate of decline has stabilized, we have lost 97% of eelgrass in the bay.

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 4,000 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?

  1. Keeping trash in the can, reduce your water use, let only water go down the drain, use biodegradable pr
  2. Donate to the Estuary Program to support our conservation, restoration, research, monitoring, education, and outreach work.
  3. Volunteer with the Estuary Program.

 

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.