The Bay Foundation was formed with a sister organization, the Friends of the Estuary, in June 1989, and recognized as a 501(c)(3) in 1990. The Bay Foundation served as a proponent of scientific study and data gathering about the health of Morro Bay, while the Friends of the Estuary served an advocacy role to promote stewardship of Morro Bay. Both organizations were essential in the effort to designate Morro Bay as an estuary of national significance under the Clean Water Act, and both helped to form the Morro Bay National Estuary Program in 1995.
In 2006, the Bay Foundation subsumed the Friends of the Estuary and its finances. The Foundation acts as the fiscal sponsor for the Morro Bay National Estuary Program and three other water quality monitoring and conservation programs that are active on the Central Coast. The Bay Foundation Board of Directors oversees the finances and policies of the organization. Currently, there are nine board members who have many years of combined experience in watershed and nonprofit management.
“I enjoy serving on the Bay Foundation Board of Directors because one of the organization’s goals is to build strong community relations in order to improve our local environment and economy.”
— Rick Algert, Former Board Member, Bay Foundation of Morro Bay