Biology & Ecosystems

Resilient coastal communities and our own human health and well-being depend on healthy ecosystems and living resources. With deteriorating diversity and productivity, the California coast and ocean ecosystems are at risk of unprecedented degradation and a reduction in the societal benefits they provide. Ecosystem-level management brings together the interconnected and cumulative nature of many marine stressors including overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and global-scale environmental change under a holistic framework.

CeNCOOS supports this approach by integrating information from many sources. We bring diverse resources and expertise to collect, reuse, and add value to a wide array of coastal and ocean observations and model synthesis. State and federal resource managers require harmonized and relevant information to facilitate adaptive management and leverage resources. CeNCOOS promotes information for adaptive management by tailoring information solutions toward specific end-user needs such as MPA assessment, fisheries stock and aquaculture management, and safeguarding protected species.

Rising to Meet the Challenge

CeNCOOS addresses policy and management needs is to improve access to information solutions that include biogeochemical, biology, and ecosystem components by developing integrated ocean-health indicator products that intelligently and automatically synthesize new and existing data into web-based indicators of marine change and health. Development of ocean-health indicators requires strong collaboration with regional partners within the California Current System and engaging local, state, and federal resource managers in targeted, iterative, indicator-development projects. The benefits and scope of such efforts will grow as novel observing technologies mature and innovative data-handling protocols bring laboratory science into the real world, allowing us to understand and address critical changes to our ecosystems and biological resources as they occur.


Marine mammal and seabird observations from the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies program are now available through the CeNCOOS Data
Animal Telemetry Network Data portal.
California Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
There are three National Marine Sanctuaries within the CeNCOOS region: The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Cordell Bank National Marine
Along the West Coast, the California Current plays a key role in the ocean’s productivity. Beginning off southern British Columbia,
The State Coastal Conservancy’s Living Shorelines Project in San Francisco Bay, which includes planting and then monitoring restored seagrass areas,
Kelp Forest off of Monastery Beach taken with an MPA. ©Monterey Bay Aquarium, photo by Patrick Webster
California's network of marine protected areas (MPAs) serves to protect and manage the diversity and abundance of marine life, the