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Morro Bay Watershed On-farm Water Quality Enhancement Project

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In 2022, the State Water Resource Control Board Nonpoint Source program awarded Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) funding to implement a suite of projects across the Morro Bay watershed to improve water quality by reducing sedimentation and nutrient loads. The Morro Bay Estuary is the most biologically important estuary on the Central Coast, and it is recognized as both a State and National Estuary. The health of the estuary, as well as the sensitive species that depend on it, is compromised by accelerated rates of sedimentation, originating from the two primary subwatersheds: Los Osos Creek and Chorro Creek. 

CSLRCD will implement projects such as bioswales, riparian fencing, off-channel livestock water, irrigation water and nutrient management plans, headcut repairs and streambank stabilization throughout the Morro Bay watershed in the summers of 2023 and 2024. In addition to improved water quality in the watershed, the projects have many co-benefits including improved grazing management for soil health and forage production, enhanced fish and wildlife habitat, and opportunities for hand-on learning through local workshops on working lands.

This project builds upon an effort funded by the Morro Bay National Estuary and the Resources Legacy Fund in 2018 to identify and design projects that improve water quality in the watershed while supporting working lands. Now CSLRCD staff can work with a number of public and private landowners to permit and implement these projects. 

Partners: Cal Poly, Camp San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay NEP, Private Landowners

Funders: SWRCB 

RCD Contact: Hallie Richard,