Beach sign helps to protect Steelhead and Coho Salmon

San Gregorio Beach Lagoon Sign

This beautiful sign at San Gregorio State Beach will educate beachgoers about the dangers of artificially breaching the sandbar that separates the fresh water from the salt water and open sea.

Coastal Cleanup Day a Success!

Save bags!  Bring your own bucket

Coastal Cleanup at San Gregorio Beach was a HUGE success this year. 100 volunteers picked up 277 lbs of trash and recyclables. The weather was beautiful, the beach was accessible, and the entire area got a good cleaning.  

Thanks to all who participated!


Lagoon Monitoring

Daily and Weekly monitoring of the San Gregorio lagoon began in October 2010 as part of our grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.  Monitors are noting both the condition of the sandbar (open, closed, about to breach etc.) as well as water quality parameters at three locations in the lagoon.

In a natural, healthy state, the lagoon is an important interface between the ocean and the fresh waters of the San Gregorio creek. Fresh and salt water mingle in different ways throughout the season, allowing species like Coho, Steelhead and Tidewater Goby to prepare for their hopefully successful spawning.

When the lagoon is artificially breached, whether on purpose or by accident, an entire season of spawning can be comprised in just a few minutes.  The public can be a great help in preventing artificial breaching by being aware of the dire consequences to the fish and wildlife of unnatural opening of the sandbar.

We were fortunate to have many interested parties watching the lagoon as it swelled to incredible proportions, and were then present with a camera when the breach occurred. Within approximately 1/2 hour, the lagoon went from bay size to gentle meandering stream.

Our monitors check water quality at both half a meter from the surface, and half a meter from the bottom at three sites in the lagoon.  They also note the level at which the water column changes from fresh to salt water (stratification layer). Using a kayak, a handheld YSI meter, a camera and a data sheet, these monitors spend several hours a week collecting data in the lagoon.  This will continue throughout the year, at which point our project partners will compile and analyze the data. We will continue to share data throughout the year with our technical advisors and members of the public through our Watershed Working Group.

Please contact SGERC with any questions about our lagoon project. (650) 726-2499 or

Oct. 2010 Lagoon breach photos courtesy David & Sandra Zink

San Gregorio Watershed Management Plan

The San Gregorio Watershed Management Plan is completed! You can download it here or from the home page of this website.
The Watershed Management Plan contains an overview of the area's history, current status, and recommendations for improving the health of the environment for all beneficial uses. It is a "living" document, and can be updated to reflect any changes or new recommendations. It provides a framework to guide any restoration work or studies.

Stream Gage in need of funding!!

The San Gregorio streamgage is once again losing its operational funding. The current source of funding will end January 11th, 2010. If an agreement to fund this gage is not in place by Jan. 11th, 2010, the USGS will be forced to cease operation, thus this very important source of streamflow information for all activities in the San Gregorio Creek watershed will no longer be available. Any party with concrete information on funding sources should immediately contact:
Larry Freeman
Marina Field Office
831-883-2293 In addition, the San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center is accepting private donations of any size to help fund this gage for the upcoming year. Please make checks payable to SGERC and mail to:
PO Box 49
San Gregorio, CA 94074

Write "Stream Gage" in the Memo field to direct funds to this project.

Assessment and Plan Overview

SGERC, with the Natural Heritage Institute and several partners, has been awarded a $500,000 grant for a Watershed Assessment and Plan for the San Gregorio Watershed.  This Assessment and Plan will allow us to better understand the current state of the watershed and determine what, if any, steps should be taken in the future to ensure water quality, water quantity and the general health of the environment. This will benefit all water users, residents and visitors in the watershed. This will be a two year project beginning in January of 2007. More information will be available on the Watershed Info page of this website in coming months.

EPA Grant

San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center will be a partner in a grant obtained by American Rivers entitled "San Gregorio Creek Watershed - Filling Critical Flow Needs"
Meetings have begun with potential partners, technical advisors and those with an interest in issues pertaining to the San Gregorio Watershed.

Goals of the study include
- Methods to protect or increase stream flows for water rights holders & wildlife
- Increased water quality monitoring of the lagoon
- Lagoon dynamics; temperature, sediment and impacts of breaching
- Sharing these findings with other California Coast watershed groups.

Info at sgerc office (650 726-2499) or
If you would like email notification of meetings or progress, please join our mail list by contacting the office at