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Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

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Elkhorn Slough (ESNERR) is a seven-mile arm of the Monterey Bay located half way between the cities of Santa Cruz and Monterey. This arm has a bend in it as it extends inland, and at the "elbow" lies ESNERR. ESNERR is owned and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and it operates in partnership with the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the local, non-profit Elkhorn Slough Foundation. It is one of 22 national estuarine research reserves around the country that serve as representative estuaries for research, education and habitat stewardship. The 1,400 acres that comprise ESNERR include salt marsh, mud flat, freshwater pond, oak woodland, and grassland habitats. A stroll on any one of the three loop trails reveals a variety of both wetland and upland wildlife. It is not uncommon for a black-tailed deer to be foraging in the oaks while a grey smoothhound shark is gliding through the backwater shallows just below in search of a meal of mud crabs.

Contact Details

(831) 728-2822 Visit Website Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve1700 Elkhorn Rd
Watsonville, CA 95076