Monday, November 17, 2014


The Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo pier held and was the place to be on Saturday morning. The visitors were given a rare opportunity to peak into what happens on the private 3/4 of a mile environmental studies dock in the San Luis Bay.

The students of Cal-Poly have the opportunity to share what they have learned with the community two times per year. Once in November and another time in April. The pier was open from 9 a.m. to noon.

The event was free to all-comers. The pier itself is constructed of 4 inch metal grates which allows rain to pass right through as well as very small feet. It also made pushing strollers difficult. The visual perspective was hard for those who are afraid of heights as you could see the oceans surface some 50 feet below.

Cal-Poly put on a really nice event. The students were kind, articulate and very knowledgeable. They offered information regarding the local ecosystem including; fish, mammals, vertebrates and invertebrates. The two hands on events that had the most participation were the water samples which were viewed under a microscope and the scuba diving booth. Kids had the opportunity to put on a diving mask and an oxygen tank. They then proceeded to put their heads under water in a tank where they viewed star fish coral and other indigenous species.

This event was attended by many children but if you are a local grown-up who frequent Avila Beach it's well worth the walk. Your next opportunity to see what happens on Cal-Poly pier is in the spring.

The history of the pier is rather extensive. In 1868-1878 John Harford builds Harford Pier (now Port San Luis Pier) for exporting the County’s products.  The first pier is 540 feet long.  A narrow gauge railroad to the pier is constructed, which eventually became part of the Pacific Coast Railroad.  In the late 1870’s the pier is extended 1400 feet to deeper water and the Ocean Hotel is built for passengers waiting for ships.  The Ocean Hotel is purchased by the Marre family and becomes the Hotel Marre. Click here for what happened next.

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