Elkhorn Slough Foundation acquires 34-acre wetland
The 34-acre land extends the foundation’s holdings in this area to 450 acres. The foundation protected over 4,200 acres of conservation land in the Elkhorn Slough watershed.
Coastal Conservation and Research and the Central Coast Wetlands Group of Moss Landing Marine Labs assisted in the acquisition.
These organizations will now work to restore habitat and implement water quality improvements on the newly acquired property. The California Ocean Protection Council will help fund the project.
The wetlands are located in Moss Landing and Castroville, south of Elkhorn Slough, next to Sea Mist Farms, a division of Ocean Mist Farms.
The extended Tottino family agreed to sell the property for wetland restoration. The family is known to have helped establish the artichoke industry in Castroville and the lower Salinas Valley.
This project brings together the conservation and farming communities to improve the quality of the water flowing into Monterey Bay.
Coastal Conservation and Research and Central Coast Wetlands Group have worked with Ocean Mist Farms for the past 15 years to improve inflows to the wetlands of Moro Cojo Slough and the lower Salinas River.
Elkhorn Slough Foundation Executive Director Mark Silberstein said the acquisition will lead to improved water quality, habitat restoration, increased percolation and carbon capture and storage .
“The Elkhorn Slough Foundation believes that the collaboration of farmers, scientists and environmentalists is the most productive way to meet our mutual needs,” he said.
Wetlands are known to filter and clean water of contaminants such as nitrates and other nutrients that come from agricultural runoff before it reaches Monterey Bay. They also trap quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
In addition, wetlands provide critical habitat for a wide variety of fish and wildlife.
The Elkhorn Slough Foundation is currently restoring 20 acres of degraded tidal marshes in the Elkhorn Slough Estuary National Research Reserve to cope with rising sea levels.
For more information visit elkhornslough.org