Explore The Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary

The Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary includes one of the largest and last remaining coastal wetland in California, Elkhorn Slough. Located near the town of Mosslanding, Elkhorn Slough stretches about 11 miles inland. Elkhorn slough does not connect to a river and for most of the year does not have a fresh water source. To be called a slough a waterway must be edged with marshy muddy ground. During the winter season Elkhorn slough transforms into an estuary as the Elkhorn waterway mixes freshwater (in this case from rain run off) with saltwater.

The slough provides excellent habitat for over 80 species of fishes and 270 species of birds. Many of the birds that live in the slough are migratory. The tide recedes twice a day exposing the mud flats. Many thousands of worms, snails, crabs and clams live in the mud. The animals that live in the mud flats provide an abundant food source for all the fishes and birds the live in the slough.


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