Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.
eelgrass decline


Eelgrass monitoring_landscape_with person_Morro Bay National Estuary Program

    146 acres of eelgrass and growing! We are excited to announce that eelgrass habitat in Morro Bay has expanded dramatically. In 2017, there were only thirteen acres of eelgrass left in the bay. However, our most-recent map, created with aerial images taken in 2020, shows 146 acres of eelgrass habitat. If you have been out on the water lately or taken a bayside walk, you’ve likely seen the increased amount of eelgrass wrack along the shoreline of the estuary. This is because many areas where eelgrass had died off previously now support healthy eelgrass meadows. Eelgrass habitat recovery …

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Field Updates November 2021: Eelgrass Monitoring Behind the Scenes

Morro Rock and a dense eelgrass bed at sunset

    Eelgrass Monitoring Season  Our annual fall eelgrass monitoring process is underway, contributing new data to our efforts to track the health of this valuable natural resource. During the low tide window in early November, the Estuary Program teamed up with several members of the Watershed Stewards Program to visit specific sites in eelgrass beds across the bay and measure the density of eelgrass shoots. By visiting the same sites each year, we can see how the eelgrass beds change over time. Data collected by the Estuary Program in previous years documented a steady decline in eelgrass from 2007 to 2017 as well as a small resurgence that began in 2019. Based on our observations so far, it appears that eelgrass continues to reclaim lost acreage, …

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Updates from the Field: Monitoring Eelgrass Expansion

Makenzie, Monitoring Coordinator, takes data while monitoring eelgrass in Morro Bay.

    The Morro Bay National Estuary Program’s fieldwork has been deemed an essential service by the County of San Luis Obispo. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, we are not working with volunteers at this time and our field staff are following updated monitoring protocols. We look forward to working with volunteers and other community members again as soon as it is safe for us to do so. Thank you, readers, for staying engaged and supporting the Estuary Program’s work on monitoring eelgrass expansion and other projects during this difficult time.  Green, green, everywhere! If you’ve been out on the …

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