Cayucos | MARINe

Click here for Long-Term trends

Click here for Biodiversity Survey findings

Cayucos is located in the Central Coast region of California. Prior to 1998, the coastal land adjacent to the site was privately owned, although public use of the property was common. The property was then purchased by the state, and in 2002, the area was converted to CA State Park land (Estero Bluffs State Park), further opening up access to the general public. This site is near the Morro Bay/Virg's Mussel Watch site. This gently sloping site consists of moderately uneven terrain, containing few cracks and folds.

Cayucos biodiversity survey overview

Cayucos is dominated by consolidated bedrock, and the area surrounding the site is comprised of a mixture of consolidated bedrock, and boulder fields. The primary coastal orientation of this site is southwest.

Long-Term Monitoring Surveys at Cayucos were established in 1995, and are done by University of California Santa Cruz. Long-Term MARINe surveys currently target the following species: Chthamalus/Balanus (Acorn Barnacles), Mytilus (California Mussel), Hesperophycus (Olive Rockweed), Silvetia (Golden Rockweed), Endocladia (Turfweed), Phyllospadix (Surfgrass), and Pisaster (Ochre Star). In addition, motile invertebrates, barnacle recruitment, mussel size structure, and water temperature are monitored at this site. Click here to view Long-Term trends at this site.

Cayucos long-term monitoring overview

Biodiversity Surveys were done by in 2001, 2008, 2017, and 2022. The Biodiversity Survey grid encompasses two sections that are approximately 9 meters (along shore) x 25 meters (seaward), and 18 meters (along shore) x 25 meters (seaward). Click here to view Biodiversity Survey findings at this site.

Voucher specimens of selected invertebrate and seaweed species were collected from this site by California State University Fullerton in 2017. The MARINe vouchering effort was designed to collect and archive samples of species that are monitored using MARINe protocols. Archived samples from this site at the Smithsonian Institution (invertebrates) and University of California Berkeley Herbarium (algae) are identified as BOEM-MARINE-CAY-021017.

For more information about Cayucos, please contact Pete Raimondi (