Charles Paddock Zoo: PARTY FOR THE PLANET

Photo Courtesy Charles Paddock Zoo

April 13th, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Join us for a fun filled day to celebrate our wonderful, Planet Earth! The zoo staff will be hosting several conservation partners from around the county, including MCAS, to share their work with our visitors. There will be activities for the kids, a craft station, temporary tattoo's, a meet-and-greet with ambassador animals and more! All included with general admission.


To VIEWPRINT, or DOWNLOAD Eureka! click READ MORE. Then move cursor over the Eureka! displayed below and click the "Pop-out" icon in the top-right corner.

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FIELD TRIP: Atascadero Lake, April 20th

From: Visit Atascadero
Saturday, April 20th

RSVP Required! Limited to 15 participants**

Join leader Jeanette Stone for this bird walk around Atascadero Lake which will be approximately one mile long and at a slow to moderate pace, depending on where and how often we’re seeing birds. The terrain is gentle, over flat surfaces.

Best suited for beginners, but all experience levels welcome.

Expect to see dozens of species in a variety of habitats, with likely sightings of: Red-shouldered Hawk, California Quail, California Scrub-Jay, woodpecker sp., Western Bluebird, and a variety of waterfowl.

Bring hat, sunscreen, and binoculars if you have them. Jeanette will have some binoculars to loan for participants not having their own.

**Those interested must reserve a spot by emailing Jan Surbey, MCAS field trip chair, at Jan will send start time and directions to those with reservations.

COMMUNITY PROGRAM: Who's Who in the Tidepools

Who's Who in the Tidepools
Presented by Marlin Harms

Monday, April 15th 7 pm
at SLO Botanical Garden Oak Glen Pavilion in El Chorro Regional Park

Join Marlin Harms in a virtual tour of central coast tidepool communities. With intimate photos of many tidepool creatures, he will show who lives at the edge of the ocean and what hides in the nooks and under ledges in local rocky intertidal areas. Emphasizing Montana de Oro and Estero Bluffs State Parks, but also including Cayucos and Morro Strand State Beaches, he will reveal lifestyles of the wet and squishy and some of the hazards that make their lives precarious. From chitons to crabs, and octopus to Okenia, go tidepooling without getting wet, plus tips on how and where to explore it yourself firsthand.

Marlin's attraction to nature began with birds over four decades ago and has spread widely, but especially to wildflowers and tidepool organisms. And for the past 25 years he has used photography and his education in biology to explore much of that nature. While a few of his photos have had a wider distribution, many have been used locally, including by MCAS at Sweet Springs, by the California Native Plant Society for their wildflower guides, and by the Morro Bay National Estuary Program, as well as earlier for numerous local land conservation projects with The Trust for Public Land, the Morro Estuary Greenbelt Alliance, and the American Land Conservancy.

A brief annual membership meeting will precede the program. Agenda includes voting 1) to amend the MCAS by-laws to create a Hi Mountain Lookout standing committee and 2) on the slate of nominees to fulfill the next term as Board members.

All MCAS Community Programs are free and open to the public. As always, all ages are welcome.

MCAS Sends Letter to CA State Parks re: Oso Flaco Plan

To VIEWPRINT, or DOWNLOAD letter click READ MORE. Then move cursor over the letter displayed below and click the "Pop-out" icon in the top-right corner.

From the now newly opened window, you can read letter OR use the icons in the top-right corner to PRINT or DOWNLOAD.

Oso Flaco Lake Needs Your voice!

All Hands On Deck: Oso Flaco Lake Needs Your voice!
Deadline for Public Comments Extended to March 19, 2019

Oso Flaco Lake is one of the premier birding hotspots in San Luis Obispo County. Nearly 300 species of birds use the Oso Flaco Lake Natural Area (OFLNA): as a critical resting and feeding area for migrants stopping over, breeding habitat, or wintering ground.

The Federally Endangered Least Terns nest on the ocean side of the dunes and feed their young along the boardwalk (photo above) that was built by the Nature Conservancy as an environmentally sensitive way to provide public access to this unique area without compromising critical bird habitat.

This peaceful, quiet environment is threatened by a proposed major development by the California State Parks State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA). This project, on 120 acres of prime agricultural land immediately adjacent to the present parking and lake entry, would add:

1) a 225-site campground for both RVs and tents;
2) a staging area for 100-250 off-road-vehicles;
3) a flat race track;
4) a kids' practice track and riding area;
5) a new southern entrance to the SVRA.

An overview of the plan and detailed maps of Oso Flaco Lake
(pgs 11-12) can be found in: INFORMATION PACKET (by State Parks)

Oso Flaco Plan - Concept 2 of 2 (see INFORMATION PACKET for legend)

What YOU can do!
  1. FILL out a COMMENT form at (This comment form forces you to choose between 2 bad options, but you may make clear in the write-in boxes that you support "No Project" or words of your choice.) 
  2. In addition to the comment card, also email your comments directly to State Parks at 
  3. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.
  4. Sign up to receive project updates:
  5. Coastal Commission Contact:

FIELD TRIP: Birding by Ear at Oso Flaco Lake

RSVP Required! Limited to 17 participants** 

"Birding by Ear" is back again by popular demand! Join Jessica Griffiths for a bird walk focusing on bird songs and calls. She will ID all of the bird songs heard, and present helpful tips and mnemonic devices for remembering who sings what.

Bring water, snacks, binoculars and field guides (if you have them) and dress in layers to accommodate changing weather. Sturdy shoes are recommended as there will be 1-2 miles of slow walking. Appropriate for ages 12 and up and all levels of birding expertise.

This is a FREE trip; no fees charged.

**Those interested must reserve a spot by emailing Jan Surbey, MCAS field trip chair, at Jan will send start time and directions to those with reservations.