Jeff Cann, DFG Environmental Scientist, (831) 649-7194
Janice Mackey, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8908
Expanded Public Access and Enhanced Wildlife Habitat Creates Win-Win for All
Public access to the Moss Landing Wildlife Area (MLWA) in Monterey County has now been restored for nature enthusiasts and the general public. Located in the Elkhorn Slough along the north shore, the recent closure allowed crews to create a new public access observation platform and upgrade the existing viewing deck which are now compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. Additionally, there is a new off load area in the adjoining parking lot with a wide bridge that is also ADA compliant allowing easy access to the wildlife area.
Also during the closure, crews excavated ponds to a shallow depth to provide for better foraging and nesting habitat for the western snowy plover (a federally threatened species) in spring and summer months. In fall and winter, Department of Fish and Game (DFG) staff can flood the units for additional water bird and waterfowl use, allowing the habitat to be utilized year round.
“I’m very excited about the progress and investment that we have made over the last few months with this incredibly important wildlife area,” said Jeff Cann, DFG Environmental Scientist. “These incremental steps at improving management of the ponds and wildlife viewing for the general public are perfect examples of how teamwork across multiple organizations can benefit the public and nature’s habitat as a whole.”
Created through a cooperative partnership between DFG and Ducks Unlimited, funding for the project was provided by the Wildlife Conservation Board and the Packard Foundation. Additionally, Point Reyes Bird Observatory staff contributed to the project design, as they have studied snowy plovers at this site for many years.
“Ducks Unlimited is proud to have been a part of this cooperative effort to benefit waterfowl, endangered species and the public,” said Jeff McCreary, Director of Conservation Programs for Ducks Unlimited. “I think Central Coast residents and all visitors will really enjoy the enhancements made here at Moss Landing.”
Standing at 872 acres, MLWA was purchased by the State of California from the Western Salt Works Company in 1984 for shorebirds, waterfowl and brown pelican habitat. It later became significant habitat for the snowy plover. To learn more about the partners involved in this habitat enhancement project, please visit the following websites: