Moss Landing

Moss Landing was originally called Moss. The Moss post office opened in 1895, and changed its name to Moss Landing in 1917. The name honors Charles Moss, who with a partner, built a wharf there. The port was a busy whaling port.

The earliest culture that left evidence of the Moss Landing Elkhorn Slough area was that of the Ohlone Indians. Evidence from archaeological digs show that they may have lived here as long as 4,000 years ago. The Spanish took the landscape from the Ohlone Indians when they began settling missions in the 1700s and ran cattle over the hills of the surrounding area. The Americans arrived in the mid- 1800s and farmers turned the area into cropland.

Loggers stripped the hillsides of trees. Whalers put out from the shore of Moss Landing to capture migrating whales, and a processing plant onshore reduced the giant mammals to oil and whale bone. Charles Moss, full of plans and schemes for his town at the mouth of the Elkhorn Slough, built a shipping facility and a pier. This pier where all the boats landed was owned by Moss, so the area became known as Moss Landing.

Today Moss Landing is one of the most unique ecosystems on earth. It encompasses and features the quaintness of a fishing village, and oceanic research and development; very different and distinct environments working collaboratively to preserve and protect this amazing place! Elkhorn Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside of the San Francisco Bay.

Credits: Moss Landing Chamber of Commerce.