Morro Bay Estuary... A Self-Guided Tour

Morro Bay is 2300 acres of mud flats, eel-grass beds, tidal wetlands and open water. The bay is the receiving basin for the runoff from 48,000 acres of watershed.


where rivers and creeks meet the sea and fresh water mixes with salt- are among the earth's richest and most productive habitats. They serve as spawning grounds and nurseries for at least two-thirds of our nation's commercial fisheries, and are critically important to shorebirds and waterfowl.

Two dozen threatened and endangered species live in the Morro Bay watershed, including the peregrine falcon, brant, brown pelican, sea otter, Morro Bay kangaroo rat, black rail, snowy plover, steelhead trout, salt marsh bird's beak, and Morro manzanita.

Usually in the top five nationally in Audubon Christmas bird counts, the bay is a major stop on the Pacific Flyway and the winter home of over 70 migratory bird species.

On the edge of this scenic bay, 30,000 people live in the coastal city of Morro Bay and the unincorporated communities of Los Osos and Baywood Park.

The area is a gem with many facets: from a commercial harbor to a nursery for marine fisheries, to a center for recreation and education-from volcanic Morro Rock at the harbor entrance to the rich agricultural lands drained by Chorro and Los Osos Creeks into the Morro Bay Estuary.

Copyright 1995 Ernest & Allen