Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Environmental Sciences and Management


Natural Resources Management


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Bwalya Malama

Advisor Department

Natural Resources Management

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Seagrasses are rapidly declining around the globe as well as in Morro Bay, CA. Between 2007 and 2017, the Morro Bay Estuary experienced a 97% loss of seagrass meadows. The cause of the decline is unknown. A potential cause for the loss of seagrass meadows is the degradation of seagrass habitat in the bay because of contamination due to the use of herbicides. Some examples of herbicides used within the watershed include: Oxy uorfen, Diuron, Simazine, Napropamide, Oryzalin, Chlorthal-Dimethyl, Glyphosate and Tri uralin. Theses herbicides are all highly used within the watershed and are on the top 10 list for herbicides applied. A sampling plan for sediment sampling within Morro Bay Estuary, Chorro Creek, and Los Osos Creek was developed for future researchers to continue with this project. The sampling plan follows EPA protocols. California Herbicide detection data was used to show the presence of selected herbicides in California. The sampling plan will be used in future studies to collect sediment samples for analysis for the presence of herbicides in the bay. This has never been done before in the bay, hence the need for the work to attempt to establish a causal link.