Understanding the estuary to improve habitat and species protection
Conservation Science at Elkhorn Slough
The goal of the Reserve research program is to inform conservation strategies for Elkhorn Slough and other estuaries. This research includes long-term monitoring to detect changes over time and short-term projects to understand and diminish threats to Slough habitats and communities.
We are committed to restoration science, conducting experiments to determine the most effective strategies for bringing back coastal species and habitats that have been negatively impacted by human activities. We serve as Elkhorn Slough detectives, solving mysteries and supporting the recovery of this precious estuary. Our work is collaborative, and our doors are always open to students, researchers, or community members who’d like to help study Elkhorn Slough.
Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander
Reserve staff and volunteers keep their fingers on the pulse of the estuary.
Reserve staff conduct applied studies to support conservation and management.
"It was a cold afternoon in early January. I jumped off the truck at Moss Landing and walked across the empty parking lot. I’d been looking forward to this day for more than a week. . . ."
A new study in the scientific journal Nature connects sea otter recovery to increased resilience in Elkhorn Slough.
Resources, References, and Information
Reference library (Zotero)
A searchable compilation of more than 1000 articles and references.
Research permit information
Learn about different permits required for different portions of the estuary.
Meet our staff scientists
Meet Elkhorn Slough Reserve’s scientists.
Reserve staff publications
50+ publications in peer-reviewed international journals authored by Reserve staff.
GIS files available for downloading.
Elkhorn Slough technical report series
30+ reports with information about the estuary useful to coastal managers, educators, and researchers.
Questions for students
Filling data gaps to inform conservation and management.
Questions Elkhorn Slough Reserve staff are answering.
Conservation research award
Summary of past winners.
Graduate Research Fellows
Past NERR graduate fellowship recipients.
The Reserve sponsors two undergraduate interns per year through CSUMB’s REU program; applications due in February.
Photo by Dian Larkin Adrian