Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.
state of the bay

From the Director’s Desk: State of the Bay Update

Our Earth Day Pickup and Paddle event drew a wonderful crowd of volunteers who cleaned up the bay and shoreline by paddleboard.

    From the Director’s Desk is a twice-yearly blog series, written by Executive Director Lexie Bell. Lexie plans and directs the program’s work, and collaborates with the Estuary Program’s many partners to expand our collective success in the watershed. Lexie first began working in Morro Bay as a graduate student at the UC Santa Barbara Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Her graduate work analyzed the economic impact of visitors’ perceptions of environmental quality in Morro Bay. In addition to her Master’s degree, Lexie graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Biology. Previously, …

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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 …

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Photograph Friday: Enjoying Morro Bay and Beyond

Sticky Monkey Flower on Cerro Cabrillo Trail

  The Morro Bay estuary and the lands that drain into it are very special places. They provide sustenance, shelter, and other necessities for many diverse lifeforms. The tiny invertebrates clinging to rocks in the creeks, crabs hunting for food in the eelgrass beds, pelicans diving down into the bay, and harbor seals that search for fish below the waves all depend on the bay and watershed. These areas also provide ample opportunities for people to fulfill their need to connect with the land and the water in their free time. We were struck by the variety of ways that people can enjoy …

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State of the Bay 2017: Habitat Protection, Steelhead, and Birds

Brant geese. Photograph courtesy of Ruth Ann Angus.

    Our State of the Bay 2017 report contains data that the Estuary Program and our partners have collected over the years. We release this report every three years to answer common questions about the health of Morro Bay and its watershed. Last week’s blog discussed eelgrass, sedimentation, and climate change. In this week’s blog, we address the indicator questions related to habitat protection, steelhead, and birds. Protecting Habitat for People and Wildlife Habitats are the natural environments where animals, plants, and other organisms live. The Estuary Program and its partners work to protect, enhance, and restore habitats to …

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State of the Bay 2017: Eelgrass, Sedimentation, and Climate Change

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  Our State of the Bay 2017 report contains data that the Estuary Program and our partners have collected over the years. We release this report every three years to answer common questions about the health of Morro Bay and its watershed. Last week’s blog post discussed the condition of water quality in the bay and creeks. This week, we address eelgrass, sedimentation, and climate change. Eelgrass: Tracking Current Conditions Eelgrass is a blooming underwater grass that puts down roots in sandy soils. Its long blades form an underwater forest, offering wildlife a place to rest, find food, and spawn. …

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State of the Bay 2017: Bay and Creek Water Quality

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    As a science-based organization, an important focus of the Estuary Program is to collect monitoring data that will inform our management decisions. As part of this process, we compile and analyze data every three years to create an environmental report card called the State of the Bay. Our 2017 report contains data that the Estuary Program and our partners have collected over the years. In this series of posts, we present some of the highlights from the State of the Bay 2017 report. This first post discusses water quality in the bay and local creeks. The second post …

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Countdown to State of the Bay 2017

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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 the 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. We are happy to announce that the 2017 State of the Bay report is here. Read it online, or pick up a copy in our Estuary Nature Center or office. One of the best parts of our State of the …

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