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Sunset Boat tour Elkhorn Slough Moss Landing

Moss Landing the Future that might have been

Moss Landing and the Sloughs that are home to abundant wildlife

Did you know there was almost an oil refinery built in the 1960’s in Moss Landing? Conservation was a new concept at that time and many thought it would be a boon to the economy. Check out this article to find out more!

1965: The future that might have been

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera

Ken Peterson

From Point Lobos State Reserve and the Pacific Grove shoreline, Elkhorn Slough to the whales, sea otters, and seabirds in the bay, defines Monterey County. The environmental health of this region is easy to take advantage of since it is all around us.

Today Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Aquarium, nearly two dozen respected marine research institutions, healthy commercial fisheries, and a $5 billion agricultural industry that includes a growing organic sector, make up Monterey County. And it is thriving today.

But “fifty years ago, we almost lost it – all of it. It’s a might-have-been scenario that’s hard to fathom from the perspective of 2015. And it’s a reminder that – time and again – local residents have banded together and fought to preserve one of Earth’s great environmental treasures.”

“In 1965, in the most divisive and electrifying battle to face Monterey County in modern times, we came within a whisker of becoming home to a 50,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery, to be built on the wetlands of Moro Cojo Slough” the slough right nest to Elkhorn Slough “in Moss Landing next to a power plant and a factory that produced bricks for industrial blast furnaces.”

“An ’emerging industrial corridor’

The $50 million Humble Oil refinery was seen as a linchpin for an “emerging Moss Landing-Salinas industrial corridor” that would occupy 3,800 acres of Salinas Valley farmland – stretching south to the recently opened Firestone tire plant in Salinas. PG&E waited in the wings with plans to build a nuclear power plant in Moss Landing.”

Today we are glad this never happened, and Moss Landing is home to the largest battery storage facility in the world. An Also home to the El Cat the first fully electric passenger vessel on the west coast.