Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

1700 Elkhorn Road
Watsonville, CA 95076


About Us:

The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR) is one of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves established nationwide as field laboratories for scientific research and estuarine education. The Reserve is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Elkhorn Slough Reserve's 1700-acre corner of the Slough is a hub of activity with programs that promote education, research, and conservation in Elkhorn Slough. The Visitor Center has award-winning exhibits that invite everyone to explore the unseen slough. There are five miles of trails that meander through beautiful oak woodlands, calm tidal creeks, and freshwater marshes. There are tours on the weekends and special events throughout the year.

The Elkhorn Slough Foundation’s (ESF) mission is to conserve and restore Elkhorn Slough and its watershed. To see this mission through, we wear many hats in the scheme of things at Elkhorn Slough. As a partner to the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, we support outreach, education and research. But our role as a land trust is the main focus of our work. We manage nearly 4,000 acres in the Elkhorn watershed and have been directly involved in the restoration of key habitats including tidal wetlands, coastal prairie, oak woodlands, freshwater ponds, riparian corridors and maritime chaparral.


Our vision for the future of the Elkhorn Slough is of a rich and varied environment, a thriving landscape where people, farming, industry and nature are in balance. ESNERR and ESF are partners working toward these goals. We hope you will join us in this effort.

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster
Please use "Flag This Place" to alert us about content that is inappropriate or needs immediate attention. Nothing you submit will be shared with other site visitors.

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Watsonville
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner