Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) announced that the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve received a $685,000.00 federal grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). These funds will support Phase II of the Reserve’s Visitor Services Enhancement Project.
NOAA’s grant will fund improvements to the Reserve’s Visitor Center, including the construction of a redesigned parking lot and walkway to improve accessibility. The new parking lot will better support traffic flow from the entrance gate and enhance student safety by creating a designated school bus drop off area. Additionally, the Reserve will become more environmentally friendly with the inclusion of natural water catchment in landscaped bio-swales.
“The Elkhorn Slough is a hub for education and conservation. By investing in the accessibility and safety of the Reserve, NOAA encourages students, tourists, and researchers to visit the Central Coast and learn about our outstanding biodiversity,” said Congressman Panetta. “This grant will help ensure that future generations can appreciate the natural beauty and value of studying and conserving these waters.”
“We are excited to receive this extra financial support from NOAA. This grant dovetails with other Federal and State funded projects to improve our visitor services access and facilities,” said Dave Feliz, Elkhorn Slough Reserve Manager.