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Morro Bay Watershed

The Morro Bay watershed drains about 75 square miles, including the estuary. The watershed’s tributaries include Chorro, Warden and Los Osos Creeks.

 Featured Project

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Morro Bay On-Farm Coastal Water Quality Implementation Project (Project Clearwater) completed an array of water quality improvement projects incorporating over 150 best management practices (BMPs) in accordance with USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) standards. These projects included installation of off-creek watering systems for cattle and corresponding riparian fencing, stream head-cut remediation, road improvement to prevent erosion and habitat enhancement for steelhead trout and red-legged frogs. The project resulted in protection of over 52,000 feet of riparian fencing, 17 water trough/tanks, 74,592 feet of pipeline, 2 stream crossing improvements, 1 fish passage improvement and over 21,000 feet of vegetation management and debris removal.

Altogether, these implementation projects will provide estimated benefits to the Morro Bay estuary and its watershed, over a ten year period, of reduction in sedimentation by 9,014 tons, and prevention of deposition into stream of over 421 tons of manure, with a corresponding reduction in nitrogen input of 5,558 pounds, and of phosphorous input of 455 pounds, as well as large reductions in fecal coliform and fecal streptococci.

Reports and surveys related to this watershed are available on the Documents page.