Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.
poetry contest

Morro Bay Estuary Poetry Contest 2017 Winners

A view of Morro Rock over a long stretch of dunes on the sandspit.

    Every year, the Estuary Program holds a poetry contest focused on the bay and watershed. We always include a haiku category, since haiku are traditionally focused on nature. We also include a free verse category with an annual theme. This year, we asked our free-verse-writers to read our State of the Bay report and to focus on any of the issues or ideas discussed in it. Estuary Program staff and our wonderful guest judges were impressed with the response and the work that we received. A record 121 entries came in before the deadline, and it was very difficult to choose …

Continue Reading

Director’s Letter: A Window on the Bay

We sometimes see mother otters with pups on their chests floating by.

    Lexie Bell has been with the Estuary Program for more than six years. 2016 was her first full year as Executive Director, and it’s been a year full of progress and inspiring partnerships. Below, you’ll find Lexie’s reflections on the past year and her hopes for the year to come.   Hello Friends, Have you visited our office lately? Our work here at the Estuary Program has a lot of perks (paddleboarding for science, anyone?), but one of the most immediate is the simple pleasure of looking out our office window. The view of the bay is stunning …

Continue Reading

Announcing Winners of Morro Bay Estuary Poetry Contest 2016

  The third annual Morro Bay Estuary Poetry Contest asked people to celebrate native wildlife in poems of any form, and to capture the essence of the Morro Bay National Estuary in haiku. 72 poets from across the county and beyond sent in 96 poems for consideration. Guest judges Marguerite Costigan, Jerry Douglas Smith, and Patty Sullivan were very impressed with the entries. Guest Judge and current San Luis Obispo Poet Laureate, Marguerite Costigan.   Guest judge Jerry Douglas Smith.   Guest judge Patti Sullivan.   The judges have spoken, and the winners are in. Please read their poems below, …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading