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Elfin Forest Aerial Photo Collection


SWAP has put together a small collection of aerial photographs from various sources showing the Elfin Forest over time. The earliest is by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture from 1937 (compliments of Morro Bay National Estuary Program). Most are from the early efforts to purchase and establish the Elfin Forest Natural Area or flown were for SWAP so we can see how the restoration of the Forest is progressing. Below is a selection of eleven aerials that best show the effects of time.

These photos have been cropped and rotated to show the same area and pretty much overlay each other. Due to the vagaries of aerial photography the overlay is only approximate.

You download the aerials by simply clicking on the year of interest. Once the picture appears you should be able to save or print it. You will note there are two copies of some photos. This is because some of the originals a quite large in size. The second set has been compressed to no more than 0.5 MB. The larger files from 2002 to 2011 are quite detailed to the point that individual planks in the boardwalk are visable.

Year Size                                 Year Size
  1937.jpg   225 KB
  1949.jpg   355 KB
  1978.jpg   1.33 MB                                   s1978.jpg   424 KB
  1988.jpg   8.91 MB                                   s1988.jpg   499 KB
  1995.jpg   24.1 MB                                   s1995.jpg   490 KB
  1998.jpg   9.26 MB                                   s1998.jpg   516 KB
  2002.jpg   11.4 MB                                   s2002.jpg   478 KB
  2003.jpg   12.7 MB                                   s2003.jpg   476 KB
  2007.jpg   11.3 MB                                   s2007.jpg   474 KB
  2009.jpg*   545 KB
  2010.jpg   492 KB
  2011.jpg   15.7 MB                                   s2011.jpg**   2.89 MB
  2017.jpg   12.0 MB                                   s2017.jpg**   2.90 MB

* The 2009 image was shot with a special multi-spectral IR film for MBNEP looking to plot the extent of Eelgrass in the Bay and displays some plants as light blue rather than green.

** The 2011 & 2017 images have so far resited our efforts to reduce them down to under 500K in size.