Elkhorn Slough named ‘Wetland of International Importance’

Ceremony Oct. 5 to celebrate Ramsar designation
October 1, 2018
Aerial photo of Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve Reserve at Moss Landing, California.

Elkhorn Slough has been named a “wetland of international importance” under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlandsoffsite link, and a number of federal and state officials will attend a ceremony on Fri., Oct. 5 to celebrate the designation. Media opportunities and optional tours will follow the ceremony.

Elkhorn Slough will now join 38 other wetland sites in the United States and more than 2,330 sites worldwide in a network of globally important wetlands designated under the world’s oldest modern international environmental treaty. The convention was signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971, and almost 90 percent of U.N. member states have since adopted the treaty. The designation of

Elkhorn Slough was approved by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this year.

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserveoffsite link (NERR) administered by NOAA and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, nominated the estuary for Ramsar recognition. The NERR has created opportunities for conservation and enjoyment contributing to its health and vitality.

The designation ceremony will take place at the Elkhorn Slough NERR’s Hester Marsh, where a $6.5 million, 61-acre tidal wetland projectoffsite link is restoring drowning marshes to elevations needed to support tidal marsh habitat that will withstand changes in sea level over the next century.

Interested media should RSVP to Lorili Toth, or 831-728-5939 no later than 12 p.m., Thu., Oct. 4. 

Designation of the Elkhorn Slough as a “wetland of international importance” under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.


  • Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20)
  • California State Senator Bill Monning (17th district)
  • California State Assemblymember Mark Stone (29th district)
  • Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service
  • Jody Holzworth, Pacific Southwest deputy regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Representatives from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation.

Fri., Oct. 5, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PDT. Ceremony will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Please arrive early for parking.

Elkhorn Slough NERR’s Hester Marsh. Reporters should enter at Moonglow Dairy, 357 Dolan Road, Moss Landing, California, 95039.

Jerry Slaff, NOAA, 240-533-0935
Ashley McConnell, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 805-320-6225
Lorili Toth, Elkhorn Slough Foundation, 831-728-5939