State of the Bay | 2020

State of the Bay | 2020

A report on the health of the Morro Bay Estuary

Meet the Morro Bay Estuary

In Morro Bay, freshwater from two creeks runs down from the hills and mixes with saltwater that comes in with the tides from the ocean. This mix of salty and fresh waters makes Morro Bay an estuary—a unique place that supports an abundance of wildlife and a vibrant coastal community. People visit Morro Bay year-round to appreciate its beauty, to kayak and fish, and to watch the birds and sea otters that thrive here.

The Morro Bay National Estuary Program was established in 1995 to help protect and restore this special place. The Estuary Program is a local nonprofit that works collaboratively with citizens, agencies, and landowners. We restore degraded lands, track water quality and habitat conditions, and help locals and visitors alike understand how the estuary works and what we can all do to help preserve this nationally recognized resource.

The Estuary Program publishes a State of the Bay report like this one every three years. The report uses data gathered by our staff, volunteers, and partner organizations to examine the health of the Morro Bay estuary. It provides important information about environmental trends and guides local efforts to protect and restore this special place.

We need you to protect and preserve Morro Bay!


To learn more about the Morro Bay estuary and how you can help, subscribe to our weekly blog.


Donations support our monitoring, restoration, and education efforts. Donate today! Your donation helps protect this special place that we all treasure.


We can all pitch in to create a better future for the Morro Bay estuary and other wild places. Fill out our Volunteer Interest Survey, then, visit our Climate Change page to see how you can make a positive impact on our climate future.

Interested in a PDF format? Feel free to download here.