Field Updates January 2019: Eelgrass, Stormy Monitoring, Wildlife
Fulfilling our mission to protect and restore the Morro Bay estuary for people and wildlife requires a lot of hard work in the field. At the Estuary Program, that often entails doing research, restoration, and monitoring work out on the estuary and along the creeks that feed into it. Read on to see what we’ve been up to during the past month. (Don’t miss the pictures of the creeks during our recent stormy weather!)
January was a busy month for field staff.
We started by completing our eelgrass permanent transect monitoring. We were excited to see a few patches of eelgrass along the transect across from Pasadena Point. There were a few patches here in 2017, but none fell on the actual transect. This was the first year since 2010 we found eelgrass along this transect.
We also scouted sites for our 2019 eelgrass restoration projects, which kicks off this weekend. We are hoping to do a series of three planting efforts across the bay in 2019. Keep an eye out for updates on this effort in future blog posts. To read about past efforts, check out these blog posts.
Here is a list of species we spotted in January while out in the bay.
- California lyonsia
- Opalescent nudibranch
- Bulla snail
- Sand dollar
- Leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata)
- California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)
- Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)
- Southern sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)
- Black brant (note, we saw more birds than just the brant)
- Unknown egg masses (pictured below)
January was an exciting month for sediment monitoring. Starting with the rain that came late on Friday, January 11th, we deployed our sediment samplers six times. Check out this blog post to learn more about why we monitor sediment. For 2019, we are focusing our efforts on the suspended sediment station on Chorro Creek at Canet Road.
Over the month, we received 5.22” of rain at the gauging station on Chorro Creek at Canet Road. This brings the total up to 8.95” for the current water year, and there is more heading out way this weekend (with high winds and chances of lightening).
- The California Weather Blog
- Santa Barbara County rainfall, stream and reservoir data
- Reservoir Storage Summary for major reservoirs in California
Enjoy some photos of the storms and creeks over the last month.
Help us protect and restore the Morro Bay estuary!
- Come see S.L.O.P.E.’s show Flowing Estuary to Living Sea, will hang at the Morro Bay State Park Natural History Museum between February 1 and March 31, 2019. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Morro Bay National Estuary Program and the Central Coast State Parks Association. The opening reception will be held tomorrow, Saturday, February 2, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!
Watch the video below for a preview of more artwork from the show.
- Donate to the Estuary Program today and support our work in the field, the lab, and beyond.
The Estuary Program is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We depend on funding from grants and generous donors to continue our work.
- Support us by purchasing estuary-themed gear from ESTERO. This locally owned and operated company donates 20% of proceeds from its Estuary clothing line and 100% of Estuary decal proceeds to the Estuary Program. Thank you, ESTERO!
- Purchase items from the the Estuary Program’s store on Zazzle. Zazzle prints and ships your items, and the Estuary Program receives 10% of the proceeds. Choose from mugs, hats, t-shirts, and even fanny packs (they’re back!) with our fun Estuary Octopus design, our classic Estuary Program logo, or our Mutts for the Bay logo.
Thank you for your support!