The official website of the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Elkhorn Slough Life

Elkhorn Slough (pronounced "slew") sits on the central California coast about 100 miles south of San Francisco, in the middle of the curve of Monterey Bay. A narrow arm of the sea, it reaches inland, crooking north at the elbow and ending in a thin finger. Unknown to most visitors, this small embayment is adjacent to a huge underwater chasm - the Monterey submarine canyon. Stretching more than 25 miles out into the Pacific and more than a mile down from the water's surface, the Monterey Canyon could hold the Grand Canon of the Colorado River.
– from the book Elkhorn Slough, by Mark Silberstein and Eileen Campbell

From open beaches at the Monterey Bay's edge, to pickleweed marshes and mudflats, to woodlands and prairies in the uplands - the Elkhorn Slough watershed is home to a great variety of habitats. This setting provides home and shelter to an amazing an abundant variety of plants and animals. The Slough Life section of our website provides an overview of these habitats and inhabitants. We encourage you to check back regularly as we add new species to this online resource.

Black Crowned Night Heron
Black crowned night heron roosting at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve
© Greg Hofmann

Search Slough Life. Search and browse through the plants, animals and habitats of the watershed.

Biodiversity. Why this area is so special and vital to our world. What biodiversity means

Watershed. What is a watershed? Why is it important to define these areas in this way?

Native v Non-native. What do we mean when we say native species? Why are they important?

Slough Sightings Blog. Find out the latest sightings reported at the Slough or report your own interesting sighting.



We have attempted to provide the most acurate information available, based on research, studies, and experience, but we encourage you to explore the other links and sources we have provided for more in depth study.



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This site is maintained by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation in partnership with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve