Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing

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Elkhorn Slough is 7 miles (11 km) long a tidal slough and estuary on Monterey Bay, California. The community of Moss Landing and the Moss Landing Power Plant are located at the mouth of the estuary.

Elkhorn Slough is one of the largest estuaries in California, and provides essential habitat for many aquatic plants and animals. Carneros Creek, McClusky Slough, and Moro Cojo Slough are the primary sources of freshwater. The nonprofit Elkhorn Slough Foundation is the single largest landowner in the watershed, with nearly 3,600 acres (1,500 ha) that includes the Elkhorn Slough State Marine Reserve, Elkhorn Slough State Marine Conservation Area, and the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Moss Landing is a community located 15 miles (24 km) north-northeast of Monterey, at an elevation of only 10 feet (3 m), and at the head of the submarine Monterey Canyon. The Ohlone Indians were the earliest culture that left archaeological evidence dating to 4,000 years ago. The Spanish built missions and established ranches in the 1700s, and in the mid-1800s, farmers began turning the surrounding area into cropland. Moss Landing was originally called Moss, named after Charles Moss, a Texas ship captain who with a partner built a wharf. The Moss post office opened in 1895, and changed its name to Moss Landing in 1917. A dredged channel and additional piers allowed the community to become a busy whaling and fishing port and a location for fish canneries. The Moss Landing Power Plant opened in 1950. The California State University system founded Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in 1966, and in the mid-1990s the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute was moved to Moss Landing from Pacific Grove. Read more here and here. Explore more of Elkhorn Slough and Moss Landing here: