Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.
nature center

Free Summer Fun: Morro Bay Estuary Nature Center

The image above is just a section of the beautiful mural in the Estuary Program Nature Center that shows the different animals and plants that live in local habitats. The portion above shows some of the fauna native to the upland creeks, the salt marsh, and the mudflats. Visit the Nature Center to see more of the mural and learn the names of these organisms.

    Have you visited the Morro Bay Estuary Nature Center lately? This free center is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, and it’s a perfect stop for travelers and locals of all ages. Wildlife viewing station You can sight see even on a foggy day at our wildlife viewing station. Use our binoculars to scan the water, sky, and sandspit for life. You might see pelicans and other seabirds, sea lions, or sea otters—we’ve even seen bat rays floating by.     Steelhead exhibit Our Saving Steelhead exhibit offers you the chance to see steelhead trout and learn about what …

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Look Who’s Swimming in the Estuary Program Nature Center…Trout!

The steelhead trout eggs were transported to us in protective netting.

  If you’ve been to the Estuary Program Nature Center, you’ve probably seen our Saving Steelhead exhibit. Many visitors stop and watch, entranced, as the fish dart by. It’s important for us to share the steelhead’s story. Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are a special kind of trout. While they are genetically identical to rainbow trout, their behavior sets them apart. Rainbow trout spend their entire lives in freshwater. Steelhead trout hatch in freshwater streams and then migrate to the ocean. They grow big at sea, before returning to the stream where they hatched to spawn. Steelhead are a sensitive species. They …

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The Morro Bay Estuary Poetry Contest Goes Wild

While monitoring eelgrass, our staff spotted this California sea hare under the water at Coleman beach.

  Our annual poetry contest opens on April 1, and we’re excited to announce a new twist on the contest’s theme. We will continue to accept haiku that focus on any and all aspects of the estuary—we still can’t resist the haiku’s history and its ability to preserve the moment and capture the beauty of nature. We’re also introducing a new contest category that asks writers to pen poems that focus on wildlife native to the estuary or the surrounding watershed. (See our complete contest rules, here.) We hope that this new contest category will give people a chance to learn …

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Opportunities at the Morro Bay National Estuary Program’s Nature Center

  The Estuary Nature Center invites visitors to experience the beauty of the estuary and learn about protecting its sensitive habitats and wildlife. At the Nature Center, you can view aquariums of steelhead trout and eelgrass, and learn about the threats they face. You’ll see 3-D images of the estuary, learn about the watershed that supplies it with freshwater, and much more. Visitors can also enjoy the spectacular view and take advantage of the center’s binoculars to do some wildlife watching. To enhance visitors’ Nature Center experience, the Estuary Program is excited to continue our Nature Center Docent Program, which …

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