Visit Elkhorn Slough

birds at elkhorn sloughphoto copyright Kip Evans Photography

Elkhorn Slough, one of the largest estuaries in California, is located on the Monterey Bay near the town of Moss Landing. The slough provides essential habitat for over 700 species, including aquatic mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, algae, and plants.

Interesting Facts:

  • Elkhorn Slough is one of the largest salt marshes in California, second in size only to San Francisco Bay. These areas are made all the more precious by the fact that we have lost more than 90% of the wetlands in California.
  • Lots of company! Elkhorn Slough and its surrounding watershed are home to more than 340 bird species, 550 invertebrate species, 100 fish species, 60 mammal species, 20 reptile species, and 10 amphibian species.
  • With all those bird species, Elkhorn Slough has been identified by bird experts as a “Globally Important Bird Area” and a “Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve.”
  • Elkhorn Slough and the surrounding watershed are vital habitats for several threatened or endangered species including southern sea otters, western pond turtles, Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders, and the California red-legged frog.
  • As much life as we can see above the surface of Elkhorn Slough, there is much more that lies buried in the mud of the slough hidden from our eyes! It has been estimated that 1 cubic foot of mud from the slough, roughly the size of a bucket, contains: 500 billion bacteria; 500 million diatoms, microscopic plant-like organisms; 50,000 protozoan, microscopic single-celled animals; 50,000 worms; 5,000 crustaceans, including crabs and shrimp; and 40 clams!
  • Check out this video all about Elkhorn Slough including some cool scientific research!
  • For more information please visit

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