The official website of the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
Permits Required for Research in Elkhorn Slough Estuary and Environs

This document is intended to serve as a guide for researchers wishing to work in the coastal habitats of the Elkhorn Slough area near Moss Landing, California. Every attempt will be made to keep this document current and accurate, but we are not responsible for errors which may occur as regulations or interpretations thereof change over time. Please note that there is no one-stop permit – you will likely need multiple permits for your research in the Slough. The geographic boundaries for which you need particular permits are shown on the accompanying map.
Download it all here: Research_Permit_Elkhorn_Slough_Jan2013.pdf
Download the GIS shape file of permit boundaries : ESF_Permit_boundaries.shp.zip
Download the Google Earth file: ESF Permit Boundaries.kmz

Elkhorn Slough Research Permit Map

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Geographic boundaries: marked MBNMS on map -- Elkhorn Slough from Highway 1 Bridge to Elkhorn Road, in main channel
Tidal elevation boundaries: below Mean High Water (i.e., below salt marsh elevation)
Types of research activities requiring permits: typically includes activities such as disturbance of mudflat or channel bottom (e.g., by placement of anchors, permanent markers, collection of sediment cores); discharge (e.g., use of fluorescent tracking dyes); aerial overflights; trawling. See MBNMS website for more information.
How to apply: obtain instructions for application at:
http://montereybay.noaa.gov/resourcepro/permit/permits_need.html
Lead time required to receive permit: about 1 month after initial application

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Scientific Collecting Permit

Geographic boundaries: You need a regular scientific collecting permit for wildlife research on all public or private lands in Elkhorn Slough area; for research within the Elkhorn Slough State Marine Reserve (marked ESSMR on map: all of Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve below Mean High Water as well as the adjacent Elkhorn Slough estuary up to Kirby Park), the Elkhorn Slough State Marine Conservation Area (marked ESSMCA on map: Elkhorn Slough from Highway one to mid estuary), and the Moro Cojo State Marine Reserve (marked MCSMR on map), you must request exemption from the normal permit conditions to allow you to work in the MPA(s)
Tidal elevation boundaries: all require collecting permit; only below Mean High Water for exemption to work in MPA
Types of research activities requiring permits: all research activities involving plants or animals
How to apply: see http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/research_permit/ for regular collection permit; http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/specialpermits/SCMPA.html for research in MPAs
Lead time required to receive permit: target is 3 months, but may take 6 months or more depending on workload (call appropriate contact for the type of collecting you request if more than 3 months have passed and you urgently need the permit)

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Geographic boundaries: southeastern portion of Slough in mid estuary (marked ESNERR on map)
Tidal elevation boundaries: none (need permit to work at all elevations on reserve)
Types of research activities requiring permits: all research activities
How to apply: contact us by email for an application
Lead time required to receive permit: about 2 weeks after initial application

Moss Landing Wildlife Area

Geographic boundaries: northwestern portion of Slough (marked MLWA on map)
Tidal elevation boundaries: n/a (permit required for any elevation within MLWA)
Types of research activities requiring permits: all research activities
How to apply: send a short research proposal and request for access to Moss Landing Wildlife Area Manager at Department of Fish and Wildlife, Central Region. 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive Suite 100, Monterey CA 93940
Lead time required to receive permit: about 4-6 weeks

Moss Landing Harbor District

Geographic boundaries: marked ML Harbor District on map--Moss Landing Harbor area (north and south), Bennett Slough, Moro Cojo Slough and Elkhorn Slough to the easterly extremities of tidal action. The Harbor also manages Kirby Park.
Tidal elevation boundaries: below ordinary high-water mark (mean high water)
Types of research activities requiring permits: all research activities
How to apply: contact Marie Della Maggiore at Moss Landing Harbor District; 831.633.5417 or by email.
Lead time required to receive permit: about 2 weeks after receipt of completed application unless Board approval required. The Board meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month and a completed application must be received by the 3rd Wednesday in order to be placed on the next Agenda for Board consideration.

Department of Parks and Recreation

Geographic boundaries: marked CDPR on map--Moss Landing State Beach (i.e. off Potrero Road in south Moss Landing harbor area; off Jetty Road in north harbor area); Salinas River State Beach
Tidal elevation boundaries: none (all elevations within State Beach need research permits; if you are accessing the ocean through a state beach you need a DPR 65 permit)
Types of research activities requiring permits: all research activities (collection and other investigative activities)
How to apply: contact Tom Moss by email.
Lead time required to receive permit: about 2 weeks after initial application.

Elkhorn Slough Foundation and The Nature Conservancy

Geographic boundaries: various properties (marked ESF and TNC on map) owned or managed by ESF or TNC, including Azevedo Marshes, Cowell Marsh, Porter Marsh, Hudson’s Landing and portions of Moro Cojo Slough west of the railroad tracks.
Tidal elevation boundaries: none (all elevations within ESF owned or managed lands need permits)
Types of research activities requiring permits: all research activities.
How to apply: contact Kim Hayes ((831) 728-5939 or by email.
Lead time required to receive permit: about 2 weeks after initial application, however, the timeline is dependent on the scale, complexity and species focus of the research proposal.

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This site is maintained by the Elkhorn Slough Foundation in partnership with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
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