Jul 09, 2015

Keeping it Clean – Our New Video “Clean Water, Great Life”

Morro Bay is a unique place that is dear to many of our hearts. We value it for different reasons—fun on the water, delicious seafood, our livelihood, or even its restful views. All of this is made possible by clean water. The work of the Estuary Program is to protect this special place for many generations to come.

As part of this effort, the Estuary Program conducts monitoring activities throughout the bay and watershed to track long-term trends in water quality. One parameter we track regularly is the level of bacteria in the bay. Volunteers venture to eight sites each month to collect water samples from the bay shoreline. We analyze these samples for indicator bacteria, which we find when fecal contamination from warm-blooded animals is present. This means the waters may not be safe for swimming or other types of recreation.

To help share the data we’ve gathered and to spread the word about how to keep our waters clean, the Estuary Program teamed up with local director Simo Nylander to develop a brief educational video. The video describes typical sources of pollution and how they can find their way into our bay.

Damaris Hanson gives interview
Damaris Hanson (right) handles stormwater management for the city of Morro Bay. She describes how runoff from storms can carry pollutants from our sidewalks and driveways into the bay. Here, you see Director Simo Nylander (left) and Interviewer Tom Wilmer (center) conducting bayside filming.

It shares the monitoring data that Estuary Program volunteers have collected to track the safety of bay waters for swimming and boating. It also includes a chat with one of our Mutt Mitts volunteers who keeps dispensers stocked with free bags that you can use to pick up after your dog.

Mike Baird, photographer and Mutt Mitts volunteer, gives interview
Mike Baird, a long-time volunteer, describes his work with the Mutt Mitts program. Currently there are over 30 dispensers throughout the watershed that provide free plastic bags to dog owners to pick up after their pets. Pictured here are Interviewer Tom Wilmer and Production Coordinator Carol Nylander during the filming of Mike’s interview.

Lastly, the video covers what you as an individual can do to be a good steward of the bay. Simple actions such as picking up after your pets, or fixing a leak in your car, can make a difference for the wildlife and people who use the bay.

Dick Watts gets Molly to jump for a frisbee
Molly and her owner, Dick Watts, were stars! Dick got Molly to catch Frisbees and pose for the camera.

To accompany the release of the video, we’ve developed a brief publication that that you can view online or print at home. It provides more details on the monitoring data collected by the program, as well as additional information on how pet owners, car owners, boat owners, and others can protect bay waters. (Check back soon for an interactive version of this publication that includes clickable links for those who want to learn more!)


Many thanks to Simo and his crew, as well as our partners and volunteers, who contributed their time and knowledge to make this video and the accompanying publication possible. We are always excited to find new ways to share the impact of the work that we do, and we hope that these items help spread the word about what all of us can do to protect this resource that we love.

Watch our new video, “Clean Water, Great Life: an Update on Bay Water Quality” now.

Watch our video, "Clean Water, Great Life: an Update on Bay Water Quality"
Children and adults play by the estuary in our video, “Clean Water, Great Life: an Update on Bay Water Quality.” Click the image above to watch the video