Morro Bay National Estuary Program receives award to protect watershed

The California State Coastal Conservancy has awarded $1.5 million to the Morro Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) for a major conservation easement aimed at protecting the estuary's watershed.

Oct 9th, 2003

Oct. 9, 2003 -- The California State Coastal Conservancy has awarded $1.5 million to the Morro Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) for a major conservation easement aimed at protecting the estuary's watershed.

The MBNEP entered into an agreement with the land-owners last year to purchase an easement on the 1,860-acre Maino Ranch, located on the eastern boundary of the City of Morro Bay.

The Conservancy's grant, combined with money from The Nature Conservancy and the MBNEP, provides the necessary funding for the purchase. The conservation easement keeps the land in private ownership while provisions maintain the large site's rural look and use as a "working landscape."

The easement protects large swaths of different habitats including woodlands, grasslands, chaparral, serpentine outcroppings, springs and streams.

The easement also significantly reduces the development presently permitted on the property while allowing for continued ranching using good management practices that reduce erosion and pollution. The easement and its provisions will run with the land in perpetuity.

For more information, contact Darrell Brown at 202-566-1256.


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