State funds a new project to integrate ocean observing MPA monitoring

Kelp Forest off of Monastery Beach taken with an MPA. ©Monterey Bay Aquarium, photo by Patrick Webster

CeNCOOS joins many other partners to help form part of the Statewide Long-Term Monitoring for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Project partners include the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), along with other MPA project contributions from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML), the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Reef Check, California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), EcoTrust, and many more.

We will look to understand how can changes in MPA condition relate to other phenomena such as regional climate change. To do this we will integrate data from various investigators, locations, habitats and methods to produce assessments of change in key indicators. We will ingrate field observations and ocean weather data into curated data views that capture information relevant to individual MPAs, their surrounding waters and the regional climatic conditions (example here for temperature in Monterey Bay). Metrics investigated will include connectivity between MPAs as estimated by numerical models of ocean currents, which helps facilitate their function as a refuge network. We will also digest information into indicators of ecosystem condition. Ultimately, this effort will provide a more comprehensive picture to better inform decisions on how to manage the valuable habitats and living resources in our region.

Learn more about this and other projects in the program here.