Located near Moss Landing in Monterey County, Moro Cojo Slough State Marine Reserve (SMR) is one of the few estuaries along the central coast of California, lying at the intersection of land and sea just south of Elkhorn Slough. While Elkhorn Slough's expansive tidal salt marsh extends seven miles inland, Moro Cojo Slough SMR, situated east of the Highway 1 Bridge and west of a railroad crossing, encompasses less than a quarter square mile of brackish water mudflats, marsh, and estuarine habitat.
Moro Cojo Slough is a biologically rich area that is home to invertebrates, seabirds, and fish. The SMR's shallow water reaches a maximum depth of about 10 feet. These shallow waters and surrounding muddy banks support a variety of plants and animals, including pickleweed and tidewater goby. No fishing or take of any living resource is allowed in this marine protected area (MPA) to protect the habitats and resources that many animals, including threatened species like the California red-legged frog, rely on to survive.
It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource.
California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 632(b)(72)(opens in new tab)
MPA size: 0.20 square miles
Shoreline span: 0.10 miles
Depth range: 0 to 10 feet
- Estuary: 0.10 square miles