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Record Numbers of Adorable Sea Otters Delight Morro Bay Visitors this Spring

03/23/2017

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Record Numbers of Adorable Sea Otters Delight Morro Bay Visitors this Spring

You “Otter” Watch this Video about the Unusually Large Population of Adorable Sea Otters Living in Morro Bay, and Find Spring Lodging Specials, Save $130 on Sailing, Surfing, kayaking and more , and Get VIP Access to Amgen’s Morro Bay Finish

Morro Bay, CA, March 28, 2017 – There’s an abundance of pure unadulterated cuteness going on from the recent increase in California Sea Otter families living in Morro Bay. Mommas and babies are everywhere eating and grooming each other as if no one is watching. But we are and we can’t look away - they are so dang cute! Now is the perfect time to catch a glimpse of these sea creatures in their natural habitat since Morro Bay harbor is experiencing the highest count to date of these adorable critters. A survey taken last May of the Morro Bay harbor documented 36 adult sea otters and nine pups, a significantly higher number than the typical five or fewer otters frequenting the harbor in the early 2000s.

“Large gatherings of otters throughout the harbor have attracted tourists and locals all along the waterfront to experience them in their natural habitat,” explains Jennifer Little, Executive Director of Discover Morro Bay. “You can watch along the shore or rent paddleboards and watch from a safe distance on the water as they forage for food and groom their young. They use rocks and other tools to break open crab and local food sources and are so fun to watch. We’ve seen up to 30 – 40 of them at a time floating around on their backs and enjoying life in Morro Bay.”

Just plop down a beach chair along the Morro Bay Harbor Walk and start watching - they’re everywhere and easy to find. If there isn’t a family of otters hanging out already, they will soon appear. The southeast side of Morro Rock is a great landmark for sea otter viewing as is Coleman beach at the intersection of Embarcadero and Coleman Drive. There are also public viewing spots all along the Embarcadero for wildlife viewing in between the plethora of restaurants, boutique shops and wine bars. To get an even closer look, paddle out in a kayak or rent a boat at Bay Cruisers and Electric Boats. Visitors can also take a ride on the Lost Isle Tiki boat to see the otters and the ever-barking sea lions, which includes a quick detour to the Morro Bay natural sand spit. Kayaks can be rented at Kayak Horizons and the Kayak Shack.

Otter Population Growth
Over the past three years, the average count of sea otters in the California range hit 3,272. This is the first time that the index, which started in 1982, has exceeded 3,090, the threshold suggested by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine whether the species should be delisted under the Endangered Species Act. The threshold would need to be surpassed for at least three consecutive years before the species is considered for delisting. The index hovered in the 2,800 only one decade ago.

Experts say what’s really driving the population increase is the abundance of food they find in the waters of Morro Bay. Sea otters are integral to the health of the Morro Bay harbor environment. When viewing otters be very careful as they are wild animals and may react poorly if approached. When viewing from the water, it’s best to stay at least five kayak lengths away at all times and enjoy them in a responsible manner.

Find Spring Lodging Specials, Activity Rental Discounts and Amgen VIP Packages
Morro Bay currently has an abundance of spring lodging specials and up to $130 in discounts off outdoor activity rentals. Surf, Kayak and sail for less when you stay in Morro Bay through April. Also, find VIP Amgen packages and get FREE Amgen swag when you book a room for Amgen Tour of California finish on May 16 in Morro Bay.  For information on all the exciting things to do and see in Morro Bay, visit www.morrobay.org.

 

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About Morro Bay
Get out on the open road and visit Morro Bay, CA on Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County, just minutes from Hearst Castle and teeming with California Sea Otters. A true gem, this seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures found in a gorgeous natural setting. Morro Bay’s coastal climate is perfect for the abundance of year-round outdoor activities found in this unspoiled slice of California. Recently recognized in as her home in Finding Dory, Morro Bay was named as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, and outdoor activities are a way of life. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone. Located along coastal Highway 1 in midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay is easily accessible from northern CA via Highway 101 South to Highway 46 West or Highway 41 West.

Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit http://www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on its Facebook, twitter or Pinterest pages.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Susan Hartzler
Public Relations Manager
Mental Marketing
818-585-8641
shartzler@mentalmarketing.com

PUBLIC CONTACT:

Jennifer Little
Executive Director
Discover Morro Bay
805-225-1570
jlittle@morrobayca.gov