Poster Session

Poster and Exhibit Booth Session, Tuesday, May 14th from 4:00 - 6:00 PM



Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System

Henry Ruhl, Alex Harper, Fred Bahr, and Marine Lebrec

Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System

Clarissa Anderson, Megan Medina, Ian Brunjes, Danielle Muller, and Kasia Kenitz

Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Margaret Leinen, Jack Gilbert


Integrated Ocean Observing System

Carl Gouldman and Maria Murray

Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment 

Mas Dojiri

California Sea Grant

Shuana Oh

Baja Aquafarms 

Javier Vivanco Ocampo


Henry Ruhl 


CODAR Ocean Sensors

Chad Whelan 

Ocean Innovations

Brock Rosenthal


Holly Woytak

Ocean Science Trust 

Liz Whiteman, Don Kone 

McLane Labatories 

Tom Fougere


Daniel Nelson

Ocean Motions Technologies 

Jack Pan

Sea-Bird Scientific

Jochen Klinke


Vanessa Scott 

Session Theme: California Current System Dynamics

Alice Kojima, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; Thomas Kilpatrick, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; Michael Jacox, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Towards a Future of Environmental Monitoring for Offshore Wind 

Abstract >>

Recent modeling studies have simulated how offshore wind farms off the coast of California would impact local oceanographic processes suchas upwelling, and the related biogeochemical changes. The nutrients that upwelling transports to the surface form the foundation of the vibrantCalifornia Current Ecosystem (CCE) and thus supports primary productivity, fisheries, marine mammals, and avian species. As such, any futurechanges in the strength and behavior of upwelling are of concern for many stakeholders of the Pacific coast. Despite the recent modeling studiesshowing minor impacts to upwelling near the Morro Bay lease area, relevant observations that can validate these simulations are lacking. Further,consistent observational data that can characterize the pre-construction (baseline) state of the lease areas and serve as a comparison to futureobservations are also lacking.The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Pacific region and NOAA recently hosted a workshop that brought together people withexpertise in wind turbine wake modeling and the observational monitoring and modeling of physical oceanographic and biogeochemicalproperties of the CCE. Objectives of this workshop included discussing the capabilities of existing observational monitoring infrastructure, bestpractices for monitoring offshore wind farm impacts at different stages of development, as well as the challenges and knowledge gaps that existin the approaches to observing and modeling these impacts.This workshop constituted an important first step towards transparent conversations between researchers, State/Federal regulators, and developers, which we hope will create opportunities for these different groups’ overlapping needs to be addressed in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. Looking forward, comprehensive observational monitoring programs that span the periods before, during, and after the construction and operations of offshore wind farms will be crucial for characterizing their impact on the CCE, and properly validated modelsimulations will be key for anticipating future impacts of offshore wind development.

Andrew Weber, Geopaths Internship: Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kayla Martin, UCSD Scripps institution of oceanography; Elena Beckhaus, UCSD Scripps institution of oceanography; Melissa Carter, UCSD Scripps institution of oceanography 

Importance of Accurate Time of Day Adjustments for Long-term Sea Surface Temperature Data

Abstract >>

At Scripps Institution of Oceanography daily sea surface temperature measurements have been collected since 1916. Measurements were initially taken at 8am and gradually shifted to later in the day. In order to account for this time of day sampling bias, Rasmussen et al. (2020) calculated an adjustment utilizing monthly diurnal solar heating from a surface ocean heating model and locally measured insolation data from 2009-2012 to create an adjusted daily temperature dataset. New corrections were calculated using short-wave radiation data from a pyranometer at Scripps Pier from 2017-2023 and applied the same model used previously. A long term time series adjustment is necessary in order to evaluate the ongoing oceanic temperature trends within the Pacific Rim region. By comparing the mean hourly insolation averages and the adjustments from the two time periods, the need for the adjustment to include updated shortwave radiation data will be evaluated.

Angeles Rios, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Michaela Alksne; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kaitlin Frasier; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Simone Baumann-Pickering; Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Exploring Baird's Beaked Whale Presence in the North Pacific through Long-Term Passive Acoustic Monitoring

Abstract >>

Baird’s beaked whale is the largest member of the family Ziphiidae, known for their deep foraging dives and elusive nature. Despite their largesize, Baird’s beaked whale spends limited time at the surface, making it challenging to rely on visual surveys to investigate their spatio-temporaldistribution. However, they produce a unique echolocation click when searching for prey that has been used to identify their presence nearunderwater recording sites. This study used passive acoustic data collected with High Frequency Acoustic Recording Packages (HARPs) locatedin the California Current Ecosystem, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and the Gulf of Alaska. Using custom built MATLAB software,Baird’s beaked whale echolocation clicks were automatically detected, clustered based on spectral and temporal properties, and manuallyreviewed. Time series of Baird’s beaked whale presence were generated at six recording locations, spanning ten years. This study suggestsseasonal shifts in the distribution of Baird’s beaked whale in the Eastern North Pacific. Off the coast of central California, acoustic presence isgreatest during the spring, summer, and early fall. In the Gulf of Alaska, presence is greatest during the winter, suggesting a latitudinal seasonalmigration. This work will contribute to researcher and policymakers’ understanding of Baird's beaked whales' spatio-temporal distribution and may yield further insights into their population dynamics and broader ecological role.

Anh Pham, University of California, Los Angeles; Alexis Floback, University of Southern California; Daniele Bianchi, University of California, Los Angeles; James Moffett, University of Southern California

A Data Compilation of Ocean Dissolved Iron and Organic Ligands Measurements in the California Current

Abstract >>

Iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient controlling the phytoplankton growth, ocean biogeochemical cycles, and marine ecosystem dynamics in theCalifornia Current System (CCS) along the west coast of the United States, where the marine ecosystem is highly productive and provides a widearray of services. In this region, ocean Fe cycling is rather complex because of interactions between several external sources and internal cyclingprocesses, among which is the crucial role of organic ligands in protecting Fe from being removed by sinking particles from the seawater.However, measurements of Fe and ligands concentrations and Fe processes in the CCS are still sparse and sporadic, leaving gaps in ourunderstanding of the temporal and spatial variabilities of Fe distribution in the CCS and its impacts on ocean biogeochemistry. In this study, wecompile a compilation of up-to-date measurements of dissolved Fe and ligand concentrations in the United States West Coast and provide asummary of where and when these measurements were taken and a brief analysis on the distributions of Fe and ligands, their variabilities, andtheir relationships with other ocean biogeochemical variables. For Fe measurements, data from twenty-four studies and datasets between 1987and 2023 were used for this compilation, resulting in 3549 individual measurements, which are focused on the upper 100m of the ocean in coastal regions and were taken mostly in boreal summer months. For ligand measurements, data were obtained from four studies, resulting in313 individual measurements, which were taken in April, July, and August and are mostly in the upper 100m of the Central CCS. Measurements ofdissolved Fe concentrations show a sharp gradient between coastal and open ocean regions, reflecting the impact of benthic and fluvial Fe fluxesnear coasts and rapid scavenging of Fe on the shelf-to-basin transport pathway and revealing biases in current CCS ocean biogeochemistrymodels. In regions where measurements of Fe and ligands were taken together, we see a high correlation coefficient for the relationship betweenligands and Fe, demonstrating the role of ligands on protecting Fe along the transport pathways from sources to open ocean regions. In addition,both the distributions of Fe and of ligands have positive correlations with the oxygen utilization indicator, implying the release of both Fe andligands from particle remineralization. Our compilation also calls attention to gaps in measurements in the subsurface ocean and in the borealfall and winter months and to the differences in measurement and treatment methods for dissolved Fe and ligands, which confounds our datainterpretations and hinders our understanding of the Fe variabilities. The compilation is publicly available and will be regularly updated to serve as a baseline for future expansion and exploration on coastal ocean Fe cycling.

Anna Effinger, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Sydney Plummer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Moira Décima, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Michael R Stukel; Florida State University

Zooplankton Grazing in the California Current Ecosystem

Abstract >>

We investigated phytoplankton growth and micro- and mesozooplankton grazing patterns in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) during summer 2021. Three water parcels, followed over a duration of 4-5 days using satellite-tracked drogued drifter for quasi- Lagrangian experimentalcycles were investigated for onshore and offshore differences. Phytoplankton growth rates and microzooplankton grazing rates were determined using the two-point dilution method, and daily Bongo tows were deployed for mesozooplankton collection, for biomass and grazing estimatesbased on gut fluorescence. Instantaneous rates of growth and grazing between the three cycles were μ = 0.49 (± 0.11) d-1 for Cycle 1, 0.45 (±0.13) d-1 for Cycle 2 and 0.60 (± 0.1) d-1 for Cycle 3, and microzooplankton grazing rates were g = 0.31 (± 0.17) d-1 for Cycle 1, 0.36 (± 0.21) d-1for Cycle 2 and 0.37 (± 0.11) d-1 for Cycle 3. Mesozooplankton contributed much less to grazing for all cycles, grazing 0.05 (± 0.8) d-1 for Cycle 1,0.04 (± 0.01) d-1 for Cycle 2 and 0.02 (± 0.004) d-1 for Cycle 3, removing 5%, 4% and 2% of phytoplankton standing stock, respectively. In allcycles, the net calculated phytoplankton growth was positive, but this was only statistically significant for the offshore region. The dominantgrazers within the mesozooplankton community were not consistent between the regions of the CCE. The three smallest size classes (0.2-2 mm)contributed the most to grazing in Cycle 2. In Cycles 1 and 3, the dominant grazers were the two smallest size classes (0.2-1 mm).Mesozooplankton grazing showed changes related to diel vertical migration. These analyses contribute to our understanding of growth andgrazing dynamics in plankton food webs, and to understanding carbon cycling in the CCE.

Benjamin Werb, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; Yui Takeshita; Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; Joseph Warren; Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; Jacki Long; Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Estimating gross primary production and its relationship to light from diel measurements of oxygen and pH from underwater gliders

Abstract >>

Gross primary production (GPP) refers to the amount of organic carbon fixed by phytoplankton in the ocean and describes the total amount of fixed carbon (thus energy) that is available for the ecosystem. Historically, these measurements were made using bottle incubations on ships, but recent studies have demonstrated that diel cycles of O2 or carbon parameters in the mixed layer can be used to estimate diel integrated GPP rates. Here, we build on previous studies to estimate GPP using diel cycles of O2 and DIC (derived from pH measurements) from Spray gliders along CalCOFI Line 67. This provides estimates of GPP in both O2 and carbon units, allowing us to quantify the metabolic quotient (O2/Carbon) in situ. We will present GPP estimates from three sites approximately 250, 150, and 50 km from shore. Over a 2-week period in February 2021, the average GPP was 2.09 ± 0.15 mmol O2 m−3 d−1 and 1.36 ± 0.21 mmol C m−3 d−1. The average daytime and nighttime metabolic quotients were 1.66 ± 0.24 and 1.46 ± 0.25, respectively, and not significantly different than the Redfield Ratio. We will also present some results describing the relationships between GPP and photosynthetically available radiation (PAR) obtained from a downwelling radiometer on the glider. For example, the diel integrated GPP was positively correlated to the daily integrated PAR, demonstrating the ability to capture day to day variability of primary productivity. Finally, we will also present in situ photosynthesis-irradiance curves obtained from this data.

Clara Schoenbeck, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Alba Solsona-Berga; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Peter J. S. Franks, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kaitlin E. Frasier, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Jennifer S. Trickey, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Catalina Aguilar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Isaac D. Schroeder, Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Ana Širović, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Steven J. Bograd, Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Ganesh Gopalakrishnan; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Simone Baumann-Pickering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Cuvier’s Beaked Whale Presence Relative to Vertical and Temporal Variability of Oceanographic Conditions in the Southern California Bight

Abstract >>

The oceanographic conditions of the Southern California Bight (SCB) modulate the distribution and abundance of prey resources and with it the presence of mobile predators, such as Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris). Cuvier’s beaked whales are deep-diving odontocetes that spend a majority of their time foraging in the deep sea. Due to their cryptic behavior, with only a few surfacings per hour, little is known about how they respond to seasonal and interannual changes in their environment. This study utilized long-term, passive acoustic data and modeled environmental data to explore the oceanographic conditions that Cuvier’s beaked whales appear to favor. Modeled temperature and salinity data were used to identify and quantify source waters: Pacific Subarctic Upper Water (PSUW), Pacific Equatorial Water (PEW), and Eastern North Pacific Central Water (ENPCW). The interannual and seasonal variability in Cuvier’s beaked whale presence was related to the variability in El Niño Southern Oscillation events and the fraction and vertical distribution of the three source waters. Cuvier’s beaked whale acoustic presence was highest during the winter and spring and decreased during the late summer and early fall. These seasonal increases occurred at times of increased fractions of nutrient-rich PEW in the California Undercurrent and decreased fractions of nutrient-poor ENPCW in surface waters. Interannual increases in Cuvier’s beaked whale presence occurred during El Niño events. These results establish a baseline understanding of the oceanographic characteristics that correlate with Cuvier’s beaked whale presence in the SCB. Furthering our knowledge of this elusive species is key to understanding how anthropogenic activities and warming ocean conditions impact Cuvier’s beaked whales.

De'Marcus Robinson, University of California, Los Angeles; Daniele Bianchi, University of California Los Angeles; Tina Treude University of California Los Angeles; Dave Valentine, University of California Santa Barbara; Na Liu, University of California Santa Barbara

Spatial Distribution and Temporal Variability of Oxygen in the Santa Barbara Basin

Abstract >>

Dissolved oxygen has been declining along the coast and open ocean for decades, including within the Santa Barbara Basin (SBB), a low-oxygen basin in the Southern California borderland. Declining oxygen in the SBB can be attributed to changes in surface and deep-water circulation and intensification of seasonal coastal upwelling supporting high rates of productivity and subsurface remineralization. While numerous studies have investigated the influence of hypoxia and anoxia on nutrient cycling and microbial activity in the sediment and water column of the SBB, studies that characterize the spatial distribution of dissolved oxygen in the basin, and its temporal variability, remain limited. Here, we explore the spatial extent and temporal variability of dissolved oxygen in the SBB, with the goal of increasing our understanding of its dynamics and the consequences for the deep basin biogeochemistry. To this end, we integrated historical observations of dissolved oxygen from California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation (CalCOFI) and other programs with two highly spatially resolved oxygen surveys from recent cruises (AT42-19/2019 and AT50-11/2023) that deployed the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Sentry and the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Jason, equipped with oxygen sensors. Three-dimensional mapping of the new data compilation provides the first spatially resolved characterization of dissolved oxygen across the SBB and in the bottom boundary layer, allowing an exploration of the biogeochemical consequences of low bottom oxygen, including a first empirical estimate of the total benthic Fe flux released into the basin.

Flora Coden, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Nastassia Patin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Andrew Allen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Robert Lampe, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Bryce Ellman, J. Craig Venter Institute, Brice Semmens, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Plenty of Fish in the Molecular Sea: Testing Environmental DNA for Teleost Biomonitoring Applications

Abstract >>

CalCOFI quarterly cruises collect hydrographic and biological data including counts of larval fish, zooplankton, birds, and marine mammals. Environmental DNA (eDNA) can be an efficient, accurate, and cost-effective way to monitor marine biodiversity and complement net tows and visual surveys. Since 2014, eDNA has been collected and processed to assess microbial communities as part of the NOAA-CalCOFI Ocean Genomics program (NCOG). In 2023, we began processing this eDNA for teleost fish and mammal detections. We present the first results from this sequencing effort as a proof-of-concept for assessing marine fish assemblages using eDNA aboard CalCOFI. This data set includes 133 samples taken between 2014 and 2016, ranging in depth from surface to 515 m. The top three fish species detected across all sites were Mahi mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax), and Pacific saury (Cololabis saira). Other notable observed species included hake, mackerel, flying fish, and several species of myctophids. These observations overlap quantitatively and qualitatively with counts of fish larvae and eggs, with some notable exceptions. We will discuss the challenges of generating and analyzing metazoan eDNA data and some implications of these preliminary data for future biomonitoring on CalCOFI.

Frederick Bahr, Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; Luke Penrose, United States Navy; Tetyana Margolina, Naval Postgraduate School; Thomas Rago, Naval Postgraduate School; Curt Collins, Naval Postgraduate School

Analysis of the Inshore California Current System off Central California using Naval Oceanographic Office Survey Data from 1997 to 2002.

Abstract >>

Hydrographic measurements from ten Naval Oceanographic Office cruises during 1997-2002 are analyzed. Data included CTD soundings to 1000 dbar and shipboard ADCP current measurements along a modified CalCOFI grid. Water properties (pressure, spiciness, acceleration potential) were optimally interpolated onto the 26 kg/m3 and 26.8 kg/m3 isopycnals Steric heights for the sea surface relative to 1000 dbar are compared to satellite altimeter measurements. Mean fields and their variability are described. The 26.8 kg/m3 isopycnal shoaled offshore, forming a ridge about 100 km from shore that divided low offshore and high inshore spiciness. The 26.0 kg/m3 isopycnal sloped upward toward the coast due to upwelling. Acceleration potential on the 26.0 kg/m3 isopycnal showed persistent poleward inshore flow for all cruises and with indication which suggest a weak circulation of offshore waters toward the coast to the north of Monterey Bay and weak circulation of inshore waters to the west near Point Sur. The 26.8 kg/m3 isopycnal showed a similar pattern but with stronger poleward flow along the coast. Data from individual cruises provided details on the variability of the mean fields. The most robust properties were spiciness distributions. A distinct gradient of spiciness occurred near 123o12’W on both isopycnals, separating high spiciness inshore water from lower spiciness offshore.

Grace Cawley, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Stephanie A. Matthews, University of Washington; Natalia Llopis-Monferrer; Monetary Bay Aquarium Research Institute; Minerva Padilla Villa, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Katherine Barbeau, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Moira Décima, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Pyrosoma Atlanticum Fecal Pellet Production and Grazing Impact Across a Large Environmental Gradient in the California Current Ecosystem

Abstract >>

The pyrosome, Pyrosoma atlanticum has become more abundant off the coast of California since 2013, after the extreme marine heat wave that resulted from the coincidence of ‘the Blob’ and subsequent El Niño event. Comprised of hundreds to thousands of individual zooids, this colonial pelagic tunicate ranges from a few cm to up to a meter in length. Pyrosomes are mucous-mesh filter feeders, which allows them access to a large range of particle sizes, but only a handful of studies have focused on their feeding ecology which leaves large gaps in our understanding of their grazing and consequent ecosystem impact. In this study, we measured fecal pellet production rates, pellet morphology, elemental composition, and pyrosome standing stocks across a wide range of conditions in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE). Pyrosomes produced small pellets (354 ± 111 µm), at high rates (19 ± 19 pellets min-1), which resulted in the production of up to 500,000 pellets m-2 d-1 in locations with high densities. Fresh pellets had average sinking rates of 47 ± 38 m d-1, and pellets aged for 24-48 h sank even slower (31 ± 28 m d-1), suggesting that a large portion could be remineralized within the upper water column. Their removal of primary production was also substantial in locations with high pyrosome biomass. Finally, we present novel results based on biogenic silica measured within pyrosome fecal pellets to estimate their impact on diatom standing stocks. Our study indicates that P. atlanticum can play an important role in carbon cycling and food-web pathways when present in high abundance.

Jennifer Patterson Sevadjian, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Daniel Rudnick, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Improving FAIR and Open Access to Observations from the California Underwater Glider Network

Abstract >>

The California Underwater Glider Network (CUGN) is one of the longest running sustained glider networks in the world. The overarching goal of the CUGN is to sustain baseline observations of climate variability off the coast of California using autonomous underwater gliders in a network to provide near-real-time subsurface ocean data. The CUGN includes gliders on four of the traditional cross-shore CalCOFI lines, Line 56.7 off Bodega Bay, Line 66.7 off Monterey Bay, line 80 off Point Conception, and line 90 off Dana Point, and on an alongshore line at CalCOFI station 60 that connects lines 80 and 90. With nearly 20 years of observations, there are now several forms of data available including 1) near-real-time data which flows to the National Glider Data Assembly Center (NGDAC), the Global Telemetry System (GTS) and operational data centers, 2) delayed-mode post-processed data, and 3) data products offering improved ease of use, synthesized information or value-added analysis. The CUGN near-real-time data are distributed following IOOS data standards with open and FAIR practices and we are now also distributing our complete full-resolution science quality data holdings (280,000+ vertical profiles and counting) following the same data standards and even more metadata. This delayed-mode data will supersede existing near-real-time quality data at the Glider DAC and NCEI and adds many missions whose near-real-time data were not distributed. By distributing this new data collection, we aim to reduce barriers to accessing and using the highest quality and highest resolution glider observations. While our other data sets may generally be better choices for most use cases, this high-resolution data will be useful for projects that have been using the lower quality near-real-time data, studies that need data as close to the surface as possible or studies looking at fine vertical structure in the water column. We look forward to raising awareness of this data collection, supporting access and use of the data and to learning more about our diverse users' glider data needs in the process.

John (Jack) Barth, Oregon State University; Eric Bjorkstedt, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center and CalPoly Humboldt University; Anatoli Erofeev, Oregon State University; Jace Marquardt, Oregon State University; Stephen D. Pierce, Oregon State University; Roxanne Robertson, CalPoly Humboldt University; R. Kipp Shearman, Oregon State University; Brian VerWey, Oregon State University

Gliding Along the Trinidad Head Line in Northern California, 2014-Present

Abstract >>

Crossing the Oregon-California border south of Cape Blanco, Oregon, summertime, upwelling-favorable winds become strong and more persistent. This region features a narrow continental shelf, but a wide area influenced by coastal upwelling and the broadening of the southward California Current. We began underwater glider observations off Trinidad Head (TH), CA, along 41.05°N beginning in fall 2014 to augment the hydrographic and zooplankton time series collected there by colleagues from NOAA and Cal Poly Humboldt. The TH glider line fills a crucial gap in the west-coast glider array. We use a 1000-m capable Seaglider equipped with sensors for physical (temperature, conductivity, pressure), chemical (dissolved oxygen), and bio-optical (light backscatter, chlorophyll fluorescence and Colored Dissolved Organic Matter fluorescence) ocean properties. The gliders also measure depth-averaged velocity which can be combined with geostrophic estimates of relative velocity to get absolute velocity and hence transport. We use two of these Seagliders so that we can “hot swap” them to maintain continuous coverage along the TH line. The glider flies from approximately the 100-m isobath (~10km offshore) to 129W (~400 km offshore), repeating the line about every 25 days. We report observations of ocean change in this part of the California Current including marine heat waves and El Nino/La Nina cycles. Future plans include adding sensors for pH and nitrate, as well as passive acoustics for helping to monitor marine mammals in this are planned for offshore wind energy development. This operational glider line is unique in being supported jointly by both the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System and the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems, as well as the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, through an agreement forged on the bluff overlooking the Pacific at Scripps Institution of Oceanography during a stunning, happy-hour sunset.

Jose Gomez-Valdes, Centro de Investigacion Cientifica y de Educacion; Yuritzy Perez-Corona, Centro de Investigacion Cientifica y de Educacion; Jorge Vazquez-Cuervo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Characterization of the Thermohaline Structures Associated with The Mixed Layer in the Southern California Current System

Abstract >>

Density fluctuations induce gradients that generate thermohaline circulation. The relationship between horizontal temperature and salinity gradients is studied using the density ratio (R) or the Turner angle (Tu), where R is the ratio between temperature and salinity gradients, and Tu is the arctan (R). Oceanic fronts, defined by an abrupt lateral change in density, are often related to the Tu parameter. On the other hand, there are areas where thermohaline compensation (R = 1) occurs in the mixed layer, and these can also be studied using Tu. This work examines the mixed layer structures in the Southern California Current System using Turner angle. The real part of the wavelet coefficients is used to identify and quantify their appearance. Mixed layer temperature and salinity data were derived from ship-mounted thermosalinographs of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) program from cruises from January 2004 to October 2016. We found three classes of fronts: 1) composite fronts (Tu = -π/4), 2) thermal fronts (Tu = ±π/2), and 3) saline fronts (Tu = 0). The most frequent fronts were the thermal ones, appearing in upwelling areas (near the coast) throughout the year in regions where the mixed layer was shallow. Composite fronts were the least common, primarily present in the winter. Salinity fronts were located away from the coast in winter and spring. The compensation structures (Tu = π/4) appeared at the maximum depths of the mixed layer, in autumn, in areas far from the coast. Fronts and compensation zones occur at different scales.

Laura Bliss, West Coast Ocean Data Portal; Andy Lanier, West Coast Ocean Data Portal and Oregon Coastal Management Program; Steve Weisberg, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project; Adrienne Sutton, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory; Parker MacCready, University of Washington; Kate Hewett; University of California, Davis; Roxanne Carini, Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems and University of Washington; Jan Newton, Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems and University of Washington

Partnering with the West Coast Ocean Alliance and West Coast Ocean Data Portal‚ using IOOS data to inform regional ocean health priorities

Abstract >>

The West Coast Ocean Health Dashboard’s Ocean Acidification Indicator, led by Dr. Jan Newton, will be the first west-coast-wide estimation of the impacts of Ocean Acidification (OA) specifically developed to be easily understood and readily incorporated into policy- and decision-making. The researchers involved in this project collaborated to choose the definition of the indicator, the appropriate metrics and time scale, and whether to use observational or modeled data. Although observational data was preferred, one of the key findings during the development of this indicator was the gaps identified in IOOS’ OA monitoring on the West Coast. These gaps should be a future priority for IOOS (US IOOS Enterprise Strategic Plan, Objective 1.3) and other West Coast organizations. The next steps for this indicator are forming a scientific steering committee, expanding the subregional proof of concept to the entire West Coast, and effectively translating results to communicate key findings to a management and legislative audience. The West Coast Ocean Health Dashboard aims to cohesively integrate West Coast efforts to communicate coast-wide ocean health patterns and trends. Sixteen Ocean Health indicators were identified as regional priorities by state, federal, and tribal West Coast Ocean Alliance members. The next indicators in progress are harmful algal blooms, beach water quality, kelp, and coastal access. Partnering with West Coast Ocean Alliance and West Coast Ocean Data Portal on the West Coast Ocean Health Dashboard project is an effective way to highlight the IOOS data, assess IOOS data collection, and receive feedback from relevant management communities.

Libe Washburn, University of California, Santa Barbara; Li Kui, University of California, Santa Barbara; Kayla Martin; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Melissa L. Carter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; David Salazar, University of California, Santa Barbara; Eduardo Romero, University of California, Santa Barbara

Anomalous warming in near-shore waters of the Southern California Bight as observed by the SCCOOS Automated Shore Station (SASS) network

Abstract >>

Since 2005 a network of 4 instrument packages mounted on piers have recorded water properties in shallow, near-shore waters of the Southern California Bight. Preliminary analysis of the temperature anomaly time series reveals multiple marine heatwaves (MHWs) such as the “Warm Blob” of 2014-15 and the following El Niño in 2015-16. A more subtle change in the time series was a ~1 °C temperature increase at the beginning of 2014 that still persists. The temperature increase was recorded across all 4 pier sites: Scripps Pier, Newport Beach Pier, Santa Monica Pier, and Stearns Wharf. The increase was also recorded in the long record of glider transects of the California Underwater Glider Network. Ongoing research will identify future MHWs and evaluate the duration of the 1 °C temperature increase. Long-term changes in other water properties such as salinity and chlorophyll a fluorescence will also be examined in future work. Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act will help establish new and consistent measurements across the SASS network including pH, dissolved oxygen, fluorescent dissolved organic material, and turbidity.

Matthias Lankhorst, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Helena Frazao, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Caroline Lowcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Coastal Studies Institute; Uwe Send, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Mooring-Based Observations of the California Current, Undercurrent, and Upwelling Regimes off Southern California

Abstract >>

Since 2006, this research group has maintained moorings in the Southern California Current region in various configurations. Existing observations range from the main branch of the California Current hundreds of miles offshore to the coastal area just outside the surf zone. Here, we will review findings that describe the California Current, the outer branch of the Undercurrent off the shelf break, and upwelling in the nearshore areas. The California Current was observed with an array of moorings over four years, and this time series can now be extended to multiple decades using satellite altimetry as a proxy. With time series of such durations, we can investigate interannual variability and compare signals to large-scale climate indices. The mooring records also show that the northward-flowing undercurrent is well established offshore of the shelf break outside the Southern California Bight, indicating that there is poleward flow in addition to the various poleward branches of flow that straddle the topography inside the Bight. Finally, an upwelling index is derived that takes uncertainty estimates from mooring-based observations into account, but ultimately is based on tide gauge data along the shore. This index describes the upwelling in two distinct regions on the Central and Southern California shelf, and is compared with existing indices for consistency and usefulness.

Meredith Elliott, Point Blue Conservation Science; Jan Roletto; Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries; Danielle Lipski, Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries; Jaime Jahncke, Point Blue Conservation Science

The Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS)

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The Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS) is a public/private partnership founded in 2004 that supports marine wildlife conservation and healthy marine ecosystems in north-central California by conducting ocean research to inform resource managers, policy makers, and conservation partners. We collect data on oceanography, low/mid-trophic levels, and top marine predators. Oceanography data includes water sample collections (surface and at depth for ocean acidification and nutrients monitoring) and CTD casts at predetermined stations, and continuous measurements (TSG). For low and mid-trophic levels, we collect phytoplankton with a net, zooplankton with hoop and Tucker trawls at predetermined stations, as well as continuous passive acoustic sampling for krill and fish detection. Data for top marine predators include bird and mammal observations through standardized strip and line transects. The main research topics and management issues we aim to address include: 1) reducing ship strikes, 2) reducing whale entanglements, 3) protecting wildlife hotspots, 4) developing ecosystem indicators, and 5) tracking ocean acidification. We produce an annual ‘Ocean Climate Indicators Report’ that provides information about the status and trends of physical and biological climate change indicators in the region. ACCESS data are available in the California Integrated Ocean Observing System (CalIOOS) Data Portal. ACCESS data informs about 20% of the indicators included in the Cordell Bank and the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries Condition Reports. ACCESS data has been used by graduate students associated with the California State University system and the University of California Davis. ACCESS data have been used in recent publications including an analysis of krill and baleen whale distributions in relation to submesoscale surface current features, incorporation of ocean acidification data into a U.S. West Coast dataset on ocean stressors, and an analysis on the impacts of warming and ocean acidification on pteropods.

Michaela Alksne, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Luis Barajas, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara; Sam Guimte, University of California, Santa Barbara; Justin Kim, University of California, Santa Barbara; Kaitlyn Lee, University of California, Santa Barbara; Yoobin Won, University of California, Santa Barbara; Ryan Yee, University of California, Santa Barbara; Puyuan Zhang, University of California, Santa Barbara; Michaela Alksne, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Lauren Baggett, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Julie Dinasquet, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Bryce Ellman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Nastassia Patin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Erin Satterthwaite, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Brice Semmens, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Simone Baumann-Pickering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

An interactive viewing tool for marine mammal monitoring data

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As new technologies emerge, traditional ship-based marine mammal surveys have been enhanced through a suite of measurements including environmental DNA (eDNA) and passive acoustic monitoring. Marine mammals are monitored on quarterly California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation (CalCOFI) surveys using these methods contemporaneously. Long-term, contemporaneous multimodal datasets are rare yet critical for mapping species distribution and abundance, as well as for revealing the limitations of different sampling methods. Leveraging eDNA, visual sightings, and acoustic data from 2004 to 2022, this project aims to develop an interactive tool that consolidates CalCOFI marine mammal observations across space and time. In a collaboration between data science undergraduate students from UC Santa Barbara’s Data Science Capstone program and researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, this R Shiny App offers an interactive platform for researchers and technical users to explore, visualize, and gain insights into marine ecosystem data more effectively.

Nathalé Cordero Quirós, Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education; Michael G. Jacox, University of California, Santa Cruz; Mercedes Pozo Buil, University of California, Santa Cruz; Steven Bograd, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Future mesoscale variability of the California Current System under a changing climate

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The California Current System is characterized by seasonal coastal upwelling and strong mesoscale activity, which contribute to a diverse and productive ecosystem. Eddy kinetic energy (EKE) is often used to quantify mesoscale variability and some of the key questions regarding its evolution under a warming ocean still remain poorly addressed. In this study, we use high resolution climate projections of the CCS from 1980 to 2100 to analyze the evolution of EKE. By the end of the century, we find an increase in EKE that is closely related to enhanced stratification of the CCS associated with long-term ocean warming, rather than with changes in the coastal winds and currents. Intensification of eddy activity has important implications for the ecosystem since it significantly influences cross-shore transport of nutrients and other biogenic elements like oxygen, chlorophyll, and planktonic organisms.

Nicholas Rome, Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems; Jan Newton, NANOOS/University of Washington; Roxanne Carini, NANOOS/University of Washington; Rachel Wold, NANOOS/University of Washington; Troy Tanner, University of Washington; Jonathan Allan, DOGAMI; Michael Kosro, Oregon State University; Charles Seaton, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

NANOOS's Efforts for Ocean Data Accessibility in the PNW and N. California

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The Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), the regional association of U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S. IOOS) for the Pacific Northwest, developed its NANOOS Visualization System ( to provide users with a rich interface to access observations, forecasts, and satellite overlays from a wide range of ocean and coastal assets in a user-friendly format. NANOOS has also developed a wide variety of user-specific products and educational materials centered on regional priorities in an effort to make ocean data access more equitable. Examples include online tsunami evacuation/inundation maps, forecast products developed for commercial and recreational albacore tuna fishers, real-time water quality information optimized for shellfish growers, blended tide, current, weather conditions forecasts for mariners, and informational “theme pages” for issues of regional interest, such as ocean acidification, hypoxia, and HABs, with direct links to data, educational content, and regional activities. A variety of lesson plans, some using real-time data, and learning resources are also available and being used and evaluated by teachers at various levels. We will discuss our process for user-defined product development based on community engagement, including identifying needs, application design and execution, sustained communication and interface improvements for enhanced usability.

Richard Brokaw, University of California, Santa Barbara; David Siegel, University of California, Santa Barbara; Libe Washburn, University of California, Santa Barbara

Mechanisms driving advective nutrient fluxes and net primary productivity in the Santa Barbara Channel

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Net primary productivity (NPP) in the Santa Barbara Channel is dominated by seasonal phytoplankton blooms that are driven by the upwelling of deep, nutrient-rich waters in the late spring and early summer months. The spatial extent and magnitude of these blooms is complicated by complex surface circulation, characterized by mesoscale eddies and highly variable along-channel flow. It has been hypothesized recently that the eddy-driven retention of nutrient- and phytoplankton-rich waters is a dominant mechanism for sustaining phytoplankton blooms during the upwelling period. However, the effects of other physical mechanisms, such as horizontal advection, on driving interannual variations in bloom magnitude have not been extensively tested. Here, we perform a statistical analysis of long-term in situ and remote sensing datasets to assess the physical oceanographic drivers on NPP in the Santa Barbara Channel. We find that along-channel flow and wind-driven upwelling are more important than local retention in determining bloom magnitude, which motivates the quantification of the roles of horizontal and vertical nutrient fluxes. We utilize Plumes and Blooms, Santa Barbara Coastal LTER, and CalCoFI long-term monitoring measurements to establish empirical relationships between surface nitrate and the relevant environmental factors of temperature, wind stress, and time of year. We apply this relationship to satellite sea surface temperature and modeled wind stress fields to develop high resolution spatial maps of surface nitrate. By combining modeled nitrate fields with observed surface currents from SCCOOS high-frequency radar (HFR) and modeled wind stress curl, we quantify advective nutrient fluxes on sub-channel scales. We find a correspondence between anomalous nitrate fluxes and the occurrence of phytoplankton blooms. Overall, this observational approach improves our understanding of how interannual changes in advective nutrient fluxes determine phytoplankton productivity in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Riley Hale, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Samantha Clements, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Elizabeth Connors, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Melissa Carter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Jesse Wilson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Jennifer Smith, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Jeff Bowman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Physical and Microbial Models Predict Net Trophic Status of the Near-Shore Southern California Bight Ecosystem

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Marine microbes are crucial in the response of the global ocean to climate change through their ability to cycle carbon and oxygen between the ocean and atmosphere, especially in increasingly important near-shore marine ecosystems. However, the net trophic status of dynamic near-shore ecosystems has not been adequately characterized due to limited long-term time series data. Despite being widely used and easily accessible, optical dissolved oxygen time series alone cannot distinguish oxygen cycled via biological processes from oxygen cycled via physical interactions with the atmosphere. We leveraged gradient boosted regression trees, long-term environmental data, and limited observations of dissolved oxygen and argon measured via membrane inlet mass spectrometry to decouple physical and biological oxygen cycling in a four-year time series of optical dissolved oxygen in the near-shore Southern California Bight system. We then used these data to train a random forest model of phytoplankton and bacterial community structure from the Scripps Ecological Observatory to predict net trophic status over a five-year period. Our results show that this method of machine learning-based modeling can improve estimates of biologically cycled oxygen and net trophic status with some seasonal variability in model performance. We show that the Southern California Bight near-shore ecosystem maintains a near-neutral, slightly net heterotrophic status, despite fluctuations across the five-year time series. Furthermore, we identified key taxa driving periods of net heterotrophy and net autotrophy, providing further insight into the role of microbial community structure on carbon and oxygen fluxes. This work provides a framework for estimating net trophic status in dynamic, productive ecosystems essential in the global marine ecosystem response to climate change using widespread and accessible measurements of optical dissolved oxygen and microbial community structure.

Shailja Gangrade, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kiefer O. Forsch, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Katherine A. Barbeau, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Peter J. S. Franks, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Salinity Predicts Maximum Potential Phytoplankton Biomass and Community Structure in the California Current System

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Coastal upwelling ecosystems associated with strong physical stirring exhibit fine-scale hydrographic and biological patchiness. Though many studies have found broad correlations between hydrographic properties, such as temperature and salinity, and phytoplankton biomass, we lack a mechanistic understanding for why certain water parcels support higher phytoplankton concentrations than others. Here, we use observations from California Current Ecosystem Long-Term Ecological Research (CCE LTER) and CalCOFI to examine patterns in salinity, chlorophyll a, and nutrients within upwelling filament waters in the California Current System. We demonstrate that maximum potential chlorophyll, a proxy for the maximum observed phytoplankton biomass in a water parcel, increases with salinity, a conservative water-mass tracer. We link this relationship to sub-euphotic zone nitrate concentrations, which also increase with salinity, and explain patterns in phytoplankton community structure using salinity as an indicator. We also discuss how iron limitation can reduce or cause chlorophyll values below the maximum potential. Our mechanistic explanation provides a novel framework for assessing and predicting biological patchiness using salinity observations.

Shannon Perry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kaycie B. Lanpher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Riley J. Hale, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Melissa L. Carter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Jeff S. Bowman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Microbial Phosphorus Cycling Over Time at the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier within the Southern California Bight

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The phosphorous cycle is a key driver of microbial community structure and physiology in the marine environment. Samples targeting different phosphorus pools and adenylates were collected twice weekly in a year-long time series in parallel to the SCCOOS Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Alert Program (HABMAP) and the Scripps Ecological Observatory time series at the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier in La Jolla, CA to better understand the interplay between the microbial community and phosphorus cycling. Measured parameters included dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP), total dissolved phosphorus (TDP), and total particulate phosphorus (TPP) concentrations. The metabolic state of the microbial community was defined through the measurements of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentrations, ATP production rates, and microbial phosphorus uptake rates and turnover times, quantified via 32P radioisotope incubations. Microbial community abundance and structure were evaluated using flow cytometry and 16S and 18S rRNA amplicon sequencing, in addition to microscopic counts of key phytoplankton taxa provided by SCCOOS. Here, we will find that changes in microbial community structure are tightly linked to phosphorus cycling over an annual cycle in this southern California coastal ecosystem. Our results in particular highlight the role of dinoflagellates in phosphorous cycling in coastal southern California.

Vanessa Scott, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Karen Jensen, Rady School of Management, UC San Diego

Accelerating Innovative Ocean Solutions to Grow the Sustainable Blue Economy

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Verena Hormann, Scripps Institution of Oceanography 

Observations from Lagrangian Drifters in the California Current System

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The California Current System (CCS) of the subtropical Northeast Pacific is a coastal upwelling region of great ecological and socioeconomic relevance and quarterly surveyed by the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) program. This provides ample opportunity for regular deployments of Lagrangian Surface Velocity Program (SVP) drifters measuring near-surface currents and sea surface temperature (SST) in their basic configuration, with about 10 SVP-type drifters released during each CalCOFI cruise since July/August 2021. As this region is not only affected by El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events but also marine heatwaves and cold spells, these observations are of prime importance to monitor such climate extremes affecting coastal and marine communities in real time near the coast where satellite measurements may not be accurate. The drifter observations can further be used in various kinds of model studies including validation and data assimilation. Here, first results of these recent CCS measurements and their variability will be presented which can also be contextualized using the historical Global Drifter Program (GDP) database as well as ancillary datasets.

Yéssica Contreras, Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada; Jose Abella, University of Texas; Gerardo Vallejo; University of Guadalajara; Juan Carlos Herguera, Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada

Anthropogenic Carbon Invasion in the Southern California Current Surface Waters 

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Session Theme: Coastal Resilience 

Albert Derrick Fiatui, Centre for International Maritime Affairs, Ghana

Greening Coastal Defenses: Rethinking Strategies to Safeguard West Africa's Biodiversity

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​The coastal regions of West Africa are grappling with the devastating consequences of tidal waves and coastal erosion. This abstract highlight a concerning trend where Rock Sea Defence walls, often employed as temporary measures in developed nations to curb the devastation, are indiscriminately utilized in West Africa. Contrary to their intended purpose, these structures, initially designed to mitigate erosion, pose a threat to coastal biodiversity in the region. ​While Rock Sea Defence walls may offer a quick fix in developed countries, their implementation in West Africa has led to unforeseen environmental consequences. The inherent nature of these structures disrupts the delicate balance of coastal ecosystems, exacerbating the very issues they are meant to address. Coastal biodiversity, crucial for ecological stability and local economies, is now under threat due to the misguided application of these rigid defense mechanisms. ​In response to this pressing issue, there is a call for the adoption of green technologies for coastal protection in West Africa. This shift aims to move away from the unsustainable reliance on Rock Sea Defence walls and explore environmentally friendly alternatives. By embracing innovative and nature-based solutions, such as mangrove restoration, beach nourishment, and sustainable land use practices, the region can foster resilient coastal ecosystems. ​This abstract emphasizes the urgency of reevaluating coastal protection strategies in West Africa, highlighting the unintended consequences of Rock Sea Defence walls and advocating for a paradigm shift towards sustainable and ecologically sound alternatives. The need for collaborative efforts and the integration of green technologies into coastal management policies are crucial steps toward safeguarding the region's coastline and preserving its rich biodiversity.

Annie Bodel, Port of San Diego; Tim Barrett, Port of San Diego; Heather Carroll, Port of San Diego; Eileen Maher, Port of San Diego

Collaborative Approach(es) to Natural Resources Management in San Diego Bay

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This San Diego Bay Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) sets forth a long-term vision and strategy sponsored by two of the major managers of the San Diego Bay: the U.S. Navy and Port of San Diego (Port). This distinctive joint program fosters a climate-adaptive, Ecosystem Approach to the management of marine resources and requires significant interagency coordination in a complex, multi-use environment. Having completed the INRMP in 2013 and with a 10-year update now underway, the Port would like to take this opportunity to share with the Ocean Observing Community some of the unique current initiatives and past milestones in our program, as well as plans and hopes for future cooperative endeavors.

Dante Capone, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Patrick Daniel, UC Santa Cruz; Raphael Kudela, UC Santa Cruz; Moira Décima, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Shore Station Monitoring to Explore Coastal Ecosystem Response to California Wildfires

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Extreme wildfires have increased dramatically in the Western U.S. since 1970’s causing property damage and adverse effects on human health. Beyond anthropogenic impacts, wildfires have been shown to modify watershed chemistry and community structure through aquatic inputs locally and alter distant marine productivity through atmospheric deposition. Due to their unpredictable nature and logistical challenges, oceanographic observations associated with wildfire influence remain rare. However, continuous coastal monitoring networks such as the California Ocean Observing System (CalOOS) are able to capture these events through multiple biogeochemical metrics and place them in a historical context. Furthermore, harmonized monitoring along the California coast allows for parallel comparisons where wildfires may influence multiple sites. Here we focus our analysis on how recent large wildfires in the Monterey Bay influence coastal biogeochemistry using monitoring network data products. We leverage data from the Shore Station Network, Aeronet, and CalHABMAP to explore whether the SCU Lightning Complex Fires influenced phytoplankton community composition in the context of the historical time series. Using comparable available data from adjacent shore stations we examine whether there is coherence in the response of other biogeochemical measures. We explore alternative hypotheses to potential biogeochemical responses including interannual climate variability, upwelling, winds, and freshwater runoff.

Eliza Thomas, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Understanding the Impacts of Floating Offshore Wind Developments in California: a Geospatial Analysis of Information Gaps in Baseline Monitoring 

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California has embarked on the world’s largest floating offshore wind project, leading the globe in large-scale renewable energy development. Yet as an emerging technology, little is known about the environmental impacts of these developments on marine ecosystems. This information gap provides the California ocean observing community with the opportunity to monitor these impacts, in turn providing policy-makers, scientists, and energy companies alike with the data required to set global precedents for effective baseline monitoring and impact mitigation strategies when it comes to offshore floating wind developments. We performed a geospatial analysis of relevant ocean monitoring efforts in central and southern California to identify critical information gaps in baseline monitoring for offshore floating wind developments. We identify opportunities for potential program expansion and suggest opportunities for monitoring entities (e.g., CalCOFI) to collaborate with wind energy area leasees on their contractually obligated environmental monitoring. This work serves the broader ocean observing community in California by synthesizing the needs and opportunities for baseline monitoring and cross-disciplinary collaboration during coastal wind energy development.

James Behrens, Coastal Data Information Program/Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Corey Olfe, Coastal Data Information Program/SIO; Ross Timmerman, Coastal Data Information Program/SIO; John Lodise, Coastal Data Information Program/SIO, Sophia Merrifield, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Eric Terrill, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; The CDIP Waves Operations Team

The Coastal Data Information Program: 50 years of measuring and modeling the waves

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Established in 1975, The Coastal Data Information Program's ocean engineering research and development efforts have produced an unparalleled public repository of high precision wave observations spanning decades, at an array of dozens of active stations which continues to grow. With a legacy of primary funding from the US Army Corps of Engineers and California State Parks, and a network of partnerships with IOOS Regional Associations, public agencies, and private industry, CDIP's real-time wave observations and California wave model have become integral components of coastal processes research, wave dynamics research, maritime and port operations, and public recreation and safety. CDIP data are important for validating USACE's Wave Information Study, relied upon for coastal engineering guidance. CDIP station data streams now include sea surface temperature, sea surface current, and air temperature. Discussion will include recent updates to CDIP's wave forecast model, IT developments for data telemetry and management, new data products, visualization.

Jayaraju Nadimikeri, Yogi Vemana university, KADAPA, INDIA

Blue economy and Society of parts of East Coast of India: Implications to Coastal Resilience 

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Session Theme: Ocean Acidification & Hypoxia, Harmful Algal Blooms, and Water Quality

Adriana Gonzalez-Silvera, University of Baja California; Mariana Larios-Muñiz, University of Baja California; Eduardo Santamaria-del-Angel, CONABIO; Maria Ester Guzman-Hernandez, University of Baja California; Monica Torres-Beltrán, University of Baja California; Jorge-López-Calderón, University of Baja California

Light absorption properties of dinoflagellate blooms in Todos Santos Bay, Mexico (northeast Pacific Ocean)

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Todos Santos Bay (TSB) is located on the northeastern coast of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. Algal blooms dominated by dinoflagellates in TSB are recurrent and negatively impact the ecosystem of the bay and regional economy. In this study, we analyzed the concentration of chlorophyll a (Chla) and the light absorption coefficients of phytoplankton, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and non-algal particles between 250 and 700 nm with data collected between 2016 and 2023. We calculated the respective spectral slopes of the absorption coefficients (Sphy, SCDOM, and Sdg) using the wavelength range of 370 to 412 nm. We aimed to define a baseline, identify the light absorption properties associated with blooms, and compare these to the baseline. Eight bloom events were identified, with Chla concentrations ranging between 7.7 and 36.2 mg m-3. Lingulodinium polyedra was dominant in four, while Prorocentrum micans was dominant in two. A mixture of dinoflagellates characterized the other two blooms. Significant changes in the magnitude, shape, and slopes of the spectra due to mycosporine-like amino acids were observed during blooms. However, these changes varied based on the dominant species and Chla concentration. Finally, Sphy was superior to either SCDOM or Sdg when identifying blooms and could potentially be employed for their detection using the new generation of satellites capable of gathering UV-band data.

Adriana Gonzalez-Silvera, University of Baja California; Jorge López-Calderón, University of Baja California; Martin Hernández-Ayón, University of Baja California; Victor Camacho-Ibar, University of Baja California; Ivar Cordova-Medina, University of Baja California; Mariana Larios-Muñiz, University of Baja California; Angelica Serrano, University of Baja California

Long-term monitoring of phytoplankton, nutrients and alcalinity off Baja California

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This work presents results from the analysis of time series obtained from a coastal monitoring station located in the outer area of the Todos Santos Bay (Baja California, Mexico), which captures the oceanographic variability of the California Current System. This monitoring began in 2017 and aims to be maintained for long-term variability studies. The measured variables include temperature, salinity, pH, alkalinity, concentration of inorganic nutrients, phytoplankton pigments, and taxonomic composition of the phytoplankton community. Despite the varying sampling periodicity and the addition of new variables over time, it has been possible to describe different scenarios related to interannual processes affecting the region. From 2021 to 2023, years affected by La Niña, changes in thermohaline indices of water masses are observed, particularly marked by a decrease in salinity associated with low alkalinity. This, in turn, is associated with higher chlorophyll-a concentrations compared to previous years and changes in the composition of the phytoplankton community, with a very noticeable increase in the presence of diatoms in the spring of 2023. These results emphasize the importance of generating time series for assessing changes in the oceanography of the region, as it provides a long-term perspective that allows the identification of patterns, trends, and interannual events. This contributes to a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the marine ecosystem, facilitating informed decision-making in the management and conservation of coastal resources.

Anya Stajner, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Moira Décima, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Aragonite-Shelled Pelagic Gastropod Community Composition in the Southern California Current

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Pteropods and heteropods are common pelagic gastropods that play important roles in the marine food-web and carbon cycling. Both groups are characterized by fragile aragonite shells, which are susceptible to dissolution under low pH conditions. Thus, shelled pteropods and heteropods have high potential to be bioindicators for ocean acidification (OA). However, conclusions on this relationship based on past studies are mixed: both high sensitivity and high resilience have been reported in response to OA. Hence, the present study explores how natural physical and chemical conditions within the California Current Ecosystem drive pteropod and heteropod community structure and distribution, and investigates their response to stressors such as OA, hypoxia, and warming. Using spring California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) zooplankton samples from 2021, we present species composition and abundance distribution patterns in the Southern California CalCOFI sampling grid, and investigate their relationship to environmental conditions. To date, we have identified fifteen species of aragonite-shelled pteropods in the region. Preliminary analyses indicate that both species richness and species diversity (Shannon-Wiener index) are significantly (and inversely) related to the aragonite saturation horizon depth. We also see evidence that pteropod species in the genus Limacina are more abundant in the cooler, fresher waters of the California Current rather than warmer, saltier California Undercurrent waters. These findings provide insights into the drivers of aragonite-shelled pteropod community composition and their response to environmental conditions, contributing to local monitoring efforts.

Barbara Javor, NOAA, Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Monitoring Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms on Zooplankton Grazers

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The purpose of this investigation was to standardize a method to monitor toxic effects of harmful algal blooms on zooplankton grazers. Larval brine shrimp served as a zooplankton proxy in weekly or bimonthly collections of San Diego seawater. The 24-h bioassays tested natural concentrations of phytoplankton and concentrated suspensions to increase sensitivity of the method and to characterize dose-response trends in toxicity. Toxicity generally covaried with summer temperatures during 2018-2019. Toxicity covaried with a persistent red tide bloom dominated by Lingulodinium polyedra that lasted from July, 2023 through early 2024. During the peak in toxicity of that bloom, larvae began dying within minutes of initiating the bioassays in concentrated suspensions of phytoplankton. Yessotoxin was suspected but was not confirmed by chemical analyses. We suggest that other monitoring stations in the SCCOOS program employ similar bioassays, as well as chemical analyses, to compare responses to local and regional blooms of L. polyedra and other HAB species.

David Yousavich, University of California, Los Angeles; Felix Janssen: HGF-MPG Joint Research Group for Deep-Sea Ecology and Technology; Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Helmholtz-Center for Polar and Marine Research; Jiarui Liu, University of California Los Angeles; Emily Klonicki, University of California Los Angeles; Kira Homola, University of California Los Angeles; De'Marcus Robinson, University of California Los Angeles; Peter Girguis, Harvard University; Joan M. Bernhard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Tina Treude, University of California Los Angeles

Increased Deoxygenation and Nitrate-Depletion is Expanding Sulfidic Sediment State and Potentially Promoting Future Bottom Water Euxinia in the Santa Barbara Basin

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The Santa Barbara Basin is a widely studied area within the Southern California Bight with anoxic events occurring below the basin’s sill at approx. 475 m depth. Since changes in the California Current System in the 1970’s, these anoxic events have increased in duration, frequency, and strength. Using a combination of CalCOFI water-column data, as well as benthic data on sediment biogeochemistry, benthic fluxes of solutes and bottom-water oxygen fluctuations, we investigated how this increasing anoxia, and associated nitrate-depletion events in the basin’s bottom waters have effected early diagenesis in the basin. For this study, we collected sediment samples and deployed benthic flux chamber experiments aboard R/V Atlantis using ROV Jason in 2019 and DSV Alvin in 2023 and utilized data recovered from the ABISS benthic lander, deployed aboard R/V Nautilus in 2021. We found that despite high rates of sulfate reduction (e.g., 253 nmol cm-3 d-1 in the depocenter) with concomitant high concentrations of porewater sulfide (e.g., 113 µM in the depocenter), the accumulation of iron sulfides below the sill is well below what is expected in sulfidic marine sediments (Fepy/FeHR > 0.7). We found there is an apparent depletion in reactive iron at the sediment-water interface and that the sediment is shifting from a ferruginous to sulfidic state below the sill, particularly in the basin’s depocenter, where we documented a flux of 1.33 ± 1.09 mmol m-2 d-1 hydrogen sulfide into the water column. This sulfide flux occurred in tandem with changes in density and composition of sulfur-oxidizing bacterial mats that typically populate the basin’s deeper sediment during times of anoxia. This work demonstrates how increased deoxygenation off the California Coast is shifting coastal sediment towards a sulfidic state potentially promoting future water-column euxinia in the Santa Barbara Basin.

Emily Bockmon, California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo; Ryan Walter, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Taylor Wirth, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Todd Martz, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Advancing ocean acidification and hypoxia monitoring in Morro Bay estuary

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In California, Morro Bay is one of the state’s major estuaries and the system contributes significantly to the local economy through aquaculture, fisheries, tourism, and other services. The bay has historically supported one of the state’s largest eelgrass (Zostera marina) populations and is home to two commercial oyster farms. Two CeNCOOS-supported Shore Stations, one at the mouth of the bay, and the other in the shallow back bay, have been providing researchers and stakeholders critical information about bay health since 2007. These stations have historically supported measurements of pressure, conductivity (salinity), temperature, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, and turbidity. In 2020 we added SeaBird SeaFET pH sensors to the shore stations to increase monitoring capabilities related to ocean acidification and seagrass/oyster health. Additionally, we have collected discrete carbonate chemistry samples for sensor calibration and further characterization of the CO2 system. We observe strong tidal control on pH and oxygen variability, with important spatial differences between the front and back bay on various time scales. Seawater pH variability in the back bay is influenced by the intermittent input of freshwater with very high total alkalinity. This work includes a discussion of calibration methods for pH sensors and their challenges in estuaries.

Eva Scrivner, San Diego State University; Natalie Mladenov, San Diego State University; Trent Biggs, San Diego State University; Alexandra Grant, San Diego State University; Elise Piazza, San Diego State University; Stephany Garcia, San Diego State University; Benjamin Holt, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Christine Lee, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Christiana Ade, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Dan Sousa, San Diego State University

Spectral Characterization of Wastewater-Seawater Dilutions from the Tijuana River

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Each year, the overburdened Tijuana sewage system results in millions of liters of untreated wastewater entering the Tijuana River, flowing through two major metropolitan areas, polluting a protected estuary system, and posing a significant public health hazard. Routine water quality analysis has traditionally been conducted in situ, more recently using fluorescence-based methods to measure Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM), tryptophan, bacterial counts, and other water quality parameters (WQPs). However, these methods are spatiotemporally limited, and there remains a need to train synergistic remote sensing approaches to upscale water quality monitoring in the Tijuana River. To inform algorithm development, this study characterizes key spectral features of Tijuana River wastewater through a series of wastewater addition experiments. Using samples from 10/26/2023 and 02/14/2024, we collected hyperspectral Vis-NIR reflectance spectra of varying wastewater-seawater dilutions coupled with water quality measurements. In all experiments, a distinct absorption feature at 620 nm was observed at high wastewater concentrations. The band depths of this feature were highly correlated with measurements of chemical oxygen demand, CDOM, tryptophan, and more (R2 ≥ 0.97, p-value < 0.01). Experiment spectra were then convolved to the resolution of ten common multispectral sensors; in all cases, the 620 nm absorption feature was robust to changes in spectral resolution, and band depths retained high correlation with WQPs. Further simulations of atmospheric noise were applied to experiment spectra, determining at what signal-to-noise ratios the correlation between band depths and WQPs degrades. Lastly, experiment spectra were compared to in situ reflectance spectra from a field-deployed spectroradiometer using Principal Component Analysis; the 620 nm absorption feature was repeatedly observed both in the experiment and in situ. This study presents a novel spectral library of wastewater-seawater dilutions and can be applied to regionally tune remote sensing algorithms for wastewater management in the Tijuana River and other aquatic systems.

Hazel Veteto, GeoPaths Internship: Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Mira Costa College; Melissa Carter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kayla Martin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Elena Beckhaus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Investigating Differences in Phytoplankton and Chlorophyll during Warm and Cold Years

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Phytoplankton plays a key role in the availability of life on our coasts. Marine life can be negatively impacted by deoxygenation or harmful toxins when large algal blooms occur. It is important to understand the relationships between phytoplankton and water temperature, especially as oceanic temperatures continue to rise with climate change. This research plans to compare how phytoplankton and chlorophyll vary in warmer and cooler periods in southern California at Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier. The chlorophyll and phytoplankton datasets come from the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) and sea surface temperature from the Shore Stations Program. Sampling consisted of collecting seawater and a vertical net tow, which was taken to the lab where chlorophyll concentration and species composition were determined. Comparing a warm year, 2015, to cold years, 2022 and 2023, we see how phytoplankton and chlorophyll differ. By evaluating the two datasets and calculating quantile differences, we can observe how temperature changes affect both variables. Predictions for how phytoplankton and chlorophyll could vary with temperature should not be made solely on this dataset because of its small scale, but this research could provide insight into phytoplankton community and abundance with rising oceanic temperatures.

Holly Bowers, University of California, Davis - Moss Landing Marine Labs; Maxim Batalin, Lucendi; Raphael Kudela, University of California, Santa Cruz; Clarissa Anderson, Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System; Henry Ruhl, Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System

Validating the Aqusens imaging platform to expand networked cell detection capabilities

Abstract >>

This project aims to compare and validate a new low-cost digital holography based cell imaging platform (Aqusens) against the Imaging Flow CytoBot (IFCB) towards increasing capacity building for harmful algal bloom (HAB) cell detection within the context of routine monitoring and targeted deployments. This comparison will be carried out through three objectives: 1) laboratory experiments with a variety of cultured HAB and non-HAB species to provide foundational platform comparisons; 2) deployments throughout the year at the Santa Cruz Wharf monitoring site to test performance during varied conditions (e.g. algal blooms, upwelled sediment); and 3) in underway cruise operations aboard established USGS transects in San Francisco Bay targeting seasonal (3 cruises across winter, spring, autumn), and within season (3 cruises across June, July, August) succession of phytoplankton populations. These cruises, along with the Santa Cruz Wharf monitoring station, provide avenues for new platform integration into well-established programs that offer publicly available long-term data sets. On-site deployments will also occur at a variety of venues with partners in aquaculture, consulting, and educational programs. All together, these efforts will assess functionality of the platform in various settings and evaluate utility of this type of data set for a varied audience. This work will also allow us to test system features that could enhance HAB observing needs, including defining image/chlorophyll triggers for adaptive sampling, tracking bloom stages using the bulk fluorescence feature, and capturing a pool of imaged cells for downstream manipulation (genetics, culturing). A pathway will be developed for data integration into the CalOOS/HABDAC public portals.

Jacob Partida, California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt; Jeffrey Abell, Cal Poly Humboldt; Yui Takeshita, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; Alex Harper, Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System; Eric Bjorkstedt, NOAA Fisheries

Trinidad Head Ocean Observing Node

Abstract >>

The Trinidad Head Ocean Observing Node (THOON) was deployed from May through October 2023 to augment ocean observing capabilities off California's North Coast with the goal of enhancing our understanding of the factors that drive exposure of coastal habitats to ocean acidification and low-oxygen events. THOON, located near the mid-shelf station (TH02) of the Trinidad Head Line, consists of a wave-driven profiling mooring (Del Mar Oceanographic Wire Walker) and a near-bottom subsurface mooring. The profiling mooring is configured to collect and deliver real-time, high-resolution (~8-minute profiling period, sampling at 8-Hz) profiles of temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-a concentration, and dissolved oxygen concentration. As part of early field trials, the profiling mooring is also equipped with a novel FET-based pH sensor developed at MBARI. The near-bottom mooring carries a SeaBird Deep SeapHOx and an upward-looking ADCP to measure conditions in the benthic boundary layer as well as currents throughout the water column. Observations from the profiling mooring resolve several scales of variability in the vertical structure of shelf waters linked to upwelling-(un)favorable conditions and other shelf ocean dynamics; observations from the bottom mooring were collected from July through October and captured near-hypoxic conditions associated with upwelling events. Ongoing work will integrate this suite of observations from THOON into the CalOOS data portal, providing rich datasets to the scientific community. Additional efforts are aimed at reporting accessible indicators of low-oxygen and corrosive ocean conditions to members of the local coastal community, including tribal institutions and sectors of the fishing industry. These datasets will serve to augment existing efforts, both novel and long-standing, to understand ocean acidification and hypoxia conditions and their links to a broad range of biological observations in a sparsely monitored region of the California Current Ecosystem. THOON is set to be redeployed in Spring 2024.

Karen McLaughlin, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project; Christina Frieder, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project; Martha Sutula, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project 

Monitoring Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification: Lessons from the U.S. West Coast

Abstract >>

The US West Coast is a hot-spot of multiple stressor effects of warming, ocean acidification (OA), and deoxygenation. While ocean chemistry is fairly well monitored coast-wide, coupled chemical and biological data is less abundant. Biological impacts define the issue for managers, who need documentation of when and where impacts are occurring to plan an effective response. In 2016 the US West Coast States and British Columbia initiated the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel. Recognizing the importance of monitoring for effective environmental management, a key recommendation of The Panel was to “build out and sustain a West Coast monitoring program that meets management needs.” In response, the Southern California Bight Regional Marine Monitoring Program (Bight Program) implemented a coupled chemical and biological monitoring program for ocean acidification at 20 stations along the southern California coast. This monitoring utilized a sentinel species approach recommended by the Panel to evaluate biological impacts of OA, including the shell condition of pteropods and crab larvae. The study found that aragonite saturation state in coastal waters was below levels thought to cause shell dissolution in these taxa.  Furthermore, evidence of shell dissolution on both pteropods and larval crabs along the Southern California Coast was prevalent but mild. Results from this investigation also highlighted the need for standardization in monitoring practices, identifying significant differences in both the species caught as well as their abundances resulting from differences in net sizes and tow duration. Long-term, regional monitoring will clarify effects on coastal habitats by characterizing large-scale changes in baseline conditions and will contribute to a broader West Coast dataset.

Kayla Martin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Melissa Carter; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Elena Bechaus; Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Data Quality Control and Assurance of oceanographic sensors as part of the SCCOOS Automated Shore Stations Program

Abstract >>

The SCCOOS Automated Shore Stations is comprised of oceanographic sensors situated at four sites throughout Southern California. The sensors are moored, pier-based instruments measuring the near shore environment every four minutes. The sites for this program include Scripps Pier, Newport Beach Pier, Santa Monica Pier, and Stearns Wharf Pier. Measurements began in 2005 and include temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, and water level. Due to additional funding provided by Orange County Sanitation District, oxygen and pH sensors were added to Newport Beach Pier during the years 2017-2023. These instruments require maintenance consisting of monthly dives to remove growth and biofouling, yearly sensor swaps and calibrations, and intermittent equipment replacement due to malfunction. The large datasets produced from continuous sampling require extensive data quality control and assurance to remove ‘bad’ data due to multiple sources of error including biofouling, cleaning dives, equipment maintenance, and forced outages. This data set is unique in that there are multiple sources of oceanographic measurements observed adjacent to the sensors that allow for high levels of QC. This is done by setting specific thresholds for each parameter and applying flags. Preliminary QC has been applied to the Newport Beach data from 2017 to present, with some years having a finalized dataset. This poster presentation will demonstrate the workflow and highlight periods of physical and biological significance.

Luke Miller, San Diego State University; Sarah N. Giddings, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kristen Goodrich, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve; Jeff Crooks, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve 

Habitat heartbeats: Tracking behavioral and physiological responses of oysters and mussels to water quality conditions in San Diego estuaries

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Southern California’s low-inflow estuaries can experience large swings in water quality as the influence of tidal exchange is altered by estuary mouth restrictions and as terrestrial freshwater flows occasionally appear. Bivalves such as mussels and oysters living in these habitats may experience significant physiological stress as a result of both natural and human-driven changes in water quality. Using open source electronic sensor designs, we are developing a biomonitoring system to provide long-term continuous records of bivalve valve gaping behavior and heart rate, and using this system to track oyster and mussel responses to fluctuating conditions in the Tijuana River Estuary, Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, and San Diego Bay (San Diego county). The sporadic arrival of freshwater flows in these estuaries can result in multi-day or longer valve closure events and an associated decrease in heart rate, followed by rapid recovery when conditions improve. We have augmented the existing on-board data collection capabilities with cellular internet connectivity to provide real-time reporting of valve gaping from the field, which may have potential applications to inform coastal management efforts such as restoration and estuary mouth management.

Makrom Shatila, Michael Baker International; Scott Jenkins, Michael Baker International; Makrom Shatila, Michael Baker International 

AUV Plume Dispersion Assessments of Ocean Outfalls

Abstract >>

Most water quality monitoring programs rely on arrays of fixed monitoring stations at designated locations, as prescribed in NPDES discharge permits. But, fixed-array monitoring is limited by the number of monitoring locations and by how frequently those locations are monitored, making the measured water quality data subject to spatial and temporal aliasing. Remote monitoring using Lidar, synthetic aperture radar or multispectral scanners from overhead platforms can greatly diminish spatial and temporal aliasing; but only provide useful data at the sea surface. This paper provides an alternative that circumvents these limitations when conducting water quality monitoring of the receiving waters around ocean outfalls. An IVER3 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) was fitted with a fluorimeter to track the dispersion and dilution of outfall plumes using the portion of colored dissolved organic matter in outfall effluent that fluoresces, (fDOM). As a plume tracer, fDOM provides the highest possible signal-to-noise ratio, of any other constituent in wastewater effluent. Remote monitoring with an AUV provides the flexibility to run data-adaptive survey patterns tailored to local current systems while covering large survey areas (500 to 1,000 acres) with automated, high-density sampling, acquiring typically 67,000 fDOM measurements per survey. From experience tracking discharge plumes of the San Elijo, Encina, Oceanside and San Juan Creek Ocean Outfalls, where currents are dominated by the barotropic tides, separate survey patterns were used for ebb and flood tide intervals. Plume tracking survey patterns typically comprised of 27 shore-parallel AUV track lines at 54.4 m spacings in order to suppress spatial aliasing in the horizontal plane. Spatial aliasing in the vertical was eliminated by surveying each track line using a dolphin style dive profile between the sea surface and the seabed at a maximum dive angle of +/-200. Using these methods, high resolution monitoring of the plume dilution and dispersion was obtained.

Maxime Grand, San Jose State University - Moss Landing Marine Laboratories; Thomas P. Connolly, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

Enabling Real-Time Nutrient Stoichiometry Monitoring at California Shore Stations

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Real time monitoring of phosphate and silicate in the marine environment trails behind nitrate, even though all three are Essential Ocean Variables of the Global Ocean Observing System. This disparity stems from the availability of dependable UV nitrate sensors that allow for continuous nitrate sensing, whereas phosphate and silicate analyses mostly rely on discrete sampling. Miniaturized colorimetric analyzers offer the most immediate solution to address this gap, and study ecosystem responses to nutrient stoichiometry shifts, including HABs dynamics, in coastal and estuarine waters. This contribution will showcase preliminary data and insights from deploying both established and novel microfluidic phosphate and silicate analyzers alongside an existing UV nitrate sensor at the CeNCOOS Moss Landing shore station. We will first present hourly data from month-long trial deployments of a Lab-On-Chip phosphate sensor (ClearWater Sensors, UK), highlighting the impact of internal waves on nutrient variability at the head of the Monterey Bay canyon and the operational challenges to maintain continuous, reliable data collection with reagent-based LOC sensors. We will then introduce programmable Flow Injection (pFI), a new analytical technique developed at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, designed for unattended analysis of P and Si for up to 35 days without servicing. We will demonstrate the potential of pFI using a high-resolution underway surface silicate transect obtained in the Southern Ocean during the International Nutrient Intercomparison Voyage (INIV), and initial Moss Landing deployments. Given their analytical versatility, ease of use, minimal maintenance requirements, and operation with commercially available hardware, pFI analyzers provide a pathway to facilitate widespread, autonomous nutrient monitoring with minimal operational expertise. Future work will focus on validating the long-term operational viability of both LOC and pFI sensors to capture and understand seasonal and inter annual shifts in nutrient stoichiometry in various coastal settings.

Steffaney Wood, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Ariel Rabines, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Hong Zheng, , Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Zoltan Fusy, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Monica Thukral, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Rob Lampe, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Anne Schulberg, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Bradley S. Moore, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; and Andrew E. Allen; Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Environmental detection of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and Domoic Acid Biosynthesis in the Santa Barbara Channel, 2019-2023

Abstract >>

The proliferation of well-known harmful algal bloom genus Pseudo-nitzschia (PN) poses a significant threat to fisheries, marine mammal survival, and public health via the production of neurotoxin domoic acid. Genes encoding DA biosynthesis were recently discovered and can now shed light on how and why this neurotoxin is produced in nearshore environments. Located in the Southern California Bight, the Santa Barbara Channel is a hotspot for such toxigenic PN blooms that led to marine mammal stranding crises in summer 2022 and 2023. This study investigated Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and domoic acid biosynthesis in the Santa Barbara Channel using a combination of amplicon sequencing, metatranscriptomics, and metabolomics. The frequency of monthly sample collections on the Plumes and Blooms Cruises (NOAA, UCSB) between 2019-2023 highlighted distinct seasonal assemblages and gene expression patterns of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. Results shed light on oceanographic conditions associated with species-specific expression of domoic acid biosynthetic genes, in connection with elevated particulate domoic acid concentrations over 20,000 ng/L.

Stephanie Jaeger, City of San Diego; Jeff Sevadijan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Adam Webb, City San Diego; Helena Frazao, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Adriano Feit, City of San Diego; Uwe Send, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Seasonal Patterns and Ranges of Variability in Low Dissolved Oxygen and pH Conditions in the San Diego Region

Abstract >>

Key metrics to evaluate coastal water quality include dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH concentrations, where the intensity, frequency, and duration of low concentrations are widely used to identify ecosystems in distress. On the San Diego shelf, the City of San Diego’s Ocean Monitoring Program conducts extensive water, sediment, and biological monitoring in an effort to characterize local conditions and assess any impacts of treated wastewater through the Point Loma and South Bay ocean outfalls on the marine environment. One current project includes the deployment of real-time biogeochemical moorings in partnership with the Uwe Send lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. One goal of this time-series data collection effort is to better understand local ocean conditions in context of global issues such as hypoxia and ocean acidification. Examples of diurnal, seasonal, and interannual variability and patterns in subsurface DO and pH observations are presented from 2018 – 2023 from the Point Loma and South Bay moorings. In addition, data are compared to the Del Mar mooring from the same period to characterize regional conditions. The frequency and duration of hypoxic (<2 mg/L), low DO (<4 mg/L), and low pH (<7.85) periods are described, in context with events such as water mass changes and stratification. In general, lowest DO at depth tends to occur in the spring and early summer, likely due to influence from upwelling and the California Current System.

Terence O'Brien, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Use Send, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Matthias Lankhorst, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Jeff Sevadijan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Mark Ohman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Long-term bio-optical and radiometric time series from moorings in Southern California

Abstract >>

Dynamic physical conditions in the Southern California region including short-term upwelling and inter-annual ENSO create a productive and variable ecosystem. The Ocean Time Series Group at Scripps Institution of Oceanography operates 3 long-term moorings off Southern California, providing near-continuous in-situ eulerian measurements. Two moorings, CCE1 and CCE2, measure the California Current Ecosystem region (CCE) and are designed to quantify cross-shelf transport and variability. The third, Del Mar mooring, measures near-coastal, 5 kilometers offshore in 100 m water depth. The 15-year Del Mar chlF record reveals marked differences in the depth-distribution of phytoplankton on sub-seasonal to inter-annual timescales, which we here consider in the context of physical and biogeochemical regime, with implications for satellite detection of phytoplankton. The CCE moorings are equipped with paired radiometers spanning the euphotic zone, and we show variability in the diffuse attenuation coefficient Kd(490 nm) at both CCE1 and CCE2, a key variable from remote sensing. This is directly proportional to the concentration of dissolved and particulate matter within the water column, dominated by phytoplankton abundance. Future work includes finalizing a custom method developed by our group to use the paired radiometers on the CCE1 and CCE2 (7-channel OCR-507s) to retrieve euphotic-zone averaged chlorophyll concentrations, which potentially quantify bulk chlorophyll better than in-situ chlorophyll fluorescence, which is limited to fixed-depths and affected by non-photochemical quenching, and satellite ocean color chlorophyll measurements, which are limited to the first optical depth and do not capture subsurface chlorophyll maxima. Additionally, the accessibility of the Del Mar mooring, now with a multi-year IFCB timeseries at 5 m, will enable targeted optical sampling to compare IFCB-measured species composition with in-situ measured Inherent and Apparent Optical Properties (IOPs and AOPs) to improve methods to quantify IOPs in near-coastal regions and relate satellite-measured reflectance to specific species composition.

Session Theme: Fisheries, Ecosystem Assessments, & Sustainable Marine Resource Management

Alan DeRossett, Angel Sharks Benefit Corp; Pedro V. Marcel 

Aquatic Conservation Through Fog Networks: Innovations in Carbon Offsetting

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Using our local (FOG AI compute node) on a remote fog networks in collaboration with Angel Sharks Benefit Corp XPRIZE Carbon removal Team. Our approach harnesses fog computing to facilitate AI computing required for object recognition in marine environments, specifically trained for the Aquaculture industry. Unlike traditional methods reliant on internet connectivity, Our system operates autonomously, enabling real-time analysis without the need for constant online access. By integrating fog networks into the operations of Angel Sharks Benefit Corp, we streamline the process of AI-driven object recognition, enhancing the efficiency and reliability of marine monitoring efforts. This innovation empowers stakeholders to gather crucial data on their Aquaculture and the health of the surrounding habitats, facilitating informed decision-making and conservation initiatives. Furthermore, the utilization of fog networks mitigates the reliance on internet connectivity, making our solution adaptable to remote or offshore locations where network infrastructure may be limited or unreliable. This ensures continuous monitoring and data collection, even in challenging environmental conditions. The potential of fog networks in enhancing marine conservation efforts. By leveraging fog computing for AI computing tasks, we minimize the data connectivity requirements to enable efficient and reliable object recognition offshore without the constraints of internet connectivity,While satellite conections are present Video computervision data is too expensive to move raw data. The Disruptive Transmission protocol orgingially designed By Jet Propulsion labs for deep space and Mars Rover missions has a transformative use here on Earth.

Alexandra K. Curtis, NOAA, Southwest Fisheries Science Center; John C. Field, NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Tanya L. Rogers, NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Elizabeth M. Jaime, Ocean Associates under contract to NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center

SLiDERS: Harnessing California sea lions as the furry, pooping gliders of the Southern California Bight since 1981

Abstract >>

Despite the rich history of ocean observing in the Southern California Bight (SCB), historical and seasonal sampling of pelagic forage fishes are a weak point in traditional surveys. CalCOFI samples ichthyoplankton and paralarvae (reflecting abundance, fecundity, and timing of spawning forage species), typically providing annual information in late winter or spring. Beginning in 2004, spring and summer trawl surveys have sampled young-of-year and older forage species. Gaps remain prior to 2004 and in fall and winter, which have constrained knowledge of long-term and seasonal dynamics of pelagic forage species in the SCB and of their migratory and resident predators, including the ecosystem effects of marine heatwaves that now encroach near-annually late in the year. The Sea Lion Diet for Ecological Remote Sampling (SLiDERS) survey has sampled scats of (primarily adult female) California sea lions (CSL) from two southern Channel Islands with at least quarterly frequency since 1981. Telemetry of adult females from these two islands, combined with information from captive feeding studies, has shown that their scats integrate information on their predominantly pelagic prey over large expanses of seascape covered in multi-day foraging trips, primarily within the SCB. Reconstructed metrics of consumption of key prey species correlate with contemporaneous prey abundance indices from trawl sampling, supporting overlapping applications. The SLiDERS time series of relative pelagic forage species abundance and age composition has informed fish stock assessment, ecosystem modeling, and climate forecasting. CSL population productivity is strongly linked to environmental fluctuations through diet, suggesting an excellent benchmark for assessing forage conditions for the broader ecosystem. Recently, SLiDERS collections were suspended, and we are exploring whether external partnerships might provide a path forward to secure the future of this time series as an integral part of ocean observing off Southern California.

Anastasia Kunz, California Marine Sanctuary Foundation

The West Coast Ocean Sound Observation Network 

Abstract >>

Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) in the ocean is a relatively low-cost and non-invasive way to track biological, geophysical, and anthropogenic ecosystem elements simultaneously. Long term, continuous broadband recordings collected across a stationary network of listening stations along the U.S. west coast known as the Ocean Sound Observation Network (OSON) has allowed a multi-sector group of partners to establish baseline levels of sound; measure changes through time; monitor anthropogenic sound inputs; and describe species presence, distributions, and often behavior (e.g., breeding). Through collaboration between the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Navy, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and other partners, over a dozen PAM stations along the west coast are maintained through a cost-share resourcing approach to enable meaningful soundscape monitoring across the California Current both in and outside of national marine sanctuaries and offshore wind energy development areas. Standardized PAM data and products are archived within NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Passive Acoustic Data federal repository, served to end-users through NCEI and NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System web portals, and integrated into sanctuary condition reports and climate vulnerability assessments. The west coast OSON helps track the status and trends of natural resources in and around marine protected areas through the development of time-series indicators, such as vessel noise dominance and diversity of soniferous fish. OSON also informs offshore wind energy development planning, monitoring, and mitigation efforts, and provides quantitative measurements of ocean noise reduction as a result of conservation actions like slowing ships. While stationary soundscape monitoring is powerful in and of itself, its value can exponentially expand when integrated with mobile sampling and other monitoring technologies.

Ann Bowles, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute; Danielle Haulsee, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute

Ocean Observing at the Point of Contact:  Reflections on Observing Marine Life Interactions with Human-Made Objects in the Ocean

Abstract >>

Human activity in the ocean off the West Coast is increasing rapidly, raising concerns about sustainability. Knowing when, where and how animals perceive human-made objects and how they react is crucial to addressing concerns. These interactions occur at what can be called the point of contact, the time/place where animals engage in physical interactions with our objects or perceive and react to our stimuli. Examples of effects that are best addressed at this scale are entanglement and changes in biologically-significant behaviors such as foraging. We will use case studies from industry, recreational and scientific activities to describe gaps in our understanding of what happens at the point of contact. There are challenges in accumulating data at that scale, but ongoing rapid advances in marine observing technology are now making it possible to address them. Objects placed in the ocean can be equipped to monitor themselves - for example, using distributed tension measurements to efficiently assess animal interactions with mooring lines. Or, data can be accumulated from acoustic instruments on animals, silent vehicles (rowing craft or gliders), or buoys, supplementing marine life surveys and measuring human-made noise. Or, tools can be developed to help ocean users efficiently “see” underwater, promoting community science and doing for ocean life what networks of terrestrial observers have done for aquatic fish, birds, and large mammals. Focusing effort on what happens at the point of contact will simplify the task of determining whether and when mitigation is needed and improve solutions.

Anne Simonis, NOAA, Southwest Fisheries Science Center Adrift in the California; Cory Hom-Weaver, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Kourtney Burger, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Kaitlin Palmer, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Taiki Sakai, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center; Shannon Rankin, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Current: Clustered drifting Recorders Describe Spatial Variation in Soundscapes and Marine Mammal Presence within Offshore Wind Energy Areas along the US West Coast

Abstract >>

Baseline data on marine ecosystems is needed to inform the planning and management of proposed offshore wind energy areas along the US West Coast. However, there is scarce historical data on sound levels and the presence of protected species in these regions due to the expense and challenges of surveying offshore wind energy areas. The ADRIFT project uses clusters of drifting acoustic recorders to produce seasonal snapshots of ambient noise levels and marine mammal presence in offshore wind energy areas (WEAs). During 2022-2023, buoy clusters were deployed in three WEAs, including Morro Bay, Humboldt, and southern Oregon, during upwelling and post-upwelling seasons. These clustered passive acoustic deployments complement existing longitudinal studies, and are useful to describe spatial variability in soundscapes, validate sound propagation models, and quantify how well single sensors represent sound and animal activity within the greater region. Understanding and reporting ambient noise levels is a crucial part of all passive acoustic studies. Ambient noise levels can influence local marine life, sometimes adversely, and introduce bias into density and occupancy estimates. Within the context of planned offshore wind developments, there is a concerted effort to understand whether and how ambient noise levels change between the baseline, construction, and operational phases of offshore wind farms and how this may affect different species present in the region. These baseline data are critical to monitor spatiotemporal variability in animal activity and anthropogenic sound contributions as activities related to offshore wind development increase in the WEAs. The ADRIFT project includes essential partnerships between NOAA Southwest Fisheries, NOAA Sanctuaries, San Francisco State University, Cal Poly Humboldt, and Oregon State University. We use and promote a collaborative approach to surveys, which offers rich opportunities for training, knowledge exchange, and community involvement.

Avik Ghosh, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Christopher L. Crutchfield, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kyle Hu, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Jen Loch; REEF; Alli Candelmo; REEF; Brice Semmens, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Curt Schurgers; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Ryan Kastner; Scripps Institution of Oceanography

FishSense Lite - An In-situ Camera and Laser-based Fish Length Measurement System

Abstract >>

Much of the world relies on seafood as a primary food source, which has strained marine ecosystems. Scientists need accurate data about these ecosystems to evaluate their health properly. Current methods to gather this data are either invasive, such as catch-and-release, or produce inaccurate measurements through visual estimation. To tackle this problem, we’ve created FishSense Lite, a low-cost underwater imaging system designed to measure the lengths of fish. Our system utilizes equipment commonly owned by citizen divers, specifically an underwater camera and laser pointer. Divers can 3D print our custom mount and begin taking photos of fish at a distance with the laser pointer on them. After a dive, users can process the images and calculate the length of the fish from their laptops. Our software takes advantage of a quick calibration procedure that determines the location of the laser pointer with respect to the camera. Then, by finding the location of the laser dot in the photo, we determine the distance of the fish from the camera using laser triangulation, and finally calculate the length of the fish itself. Much of our effort has gone towards designing a low-cost, simple-to-use system that citizen divers can utilize at a global scale. With help from REEF, our system has been tested throughout multiple dives, and length data for fish in the Florida Keys and Baja California has been collected. From these dives, we’ve taken feedback and used it to decide the next steps in furthering our project. Our current work involves creating a more robust mount machined out of aluminum and scaling our software system to work quickly and efficiently at larger scales.

Danielle Haulsee, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute; Chris Caldow, NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary; Clarissa Anderson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Erika Eliason, University of California Santa Barbara; Nicholas Nidzieko, University of California Santa Barbara; Jennifer Selgrath, NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary; Erin Satterthwaite, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Barbara Block, Stanford University; Corey Garza, University of Washington; Tom Bell, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Robert J. Miller, University of California Santa Barbara

Towards Coordinating an Ecosystem Services Observation Network in the California Current

Abstract >>

Coastal ecosystems have been changing due to human impacts for centuries, and continue to be impacted by climate change, pollution, and overfishing. California’s fisheries, coastal tourism and recreation, and overall community health depend on healthy marine ecosystems. While changes in our environment are readily measured through physical data, there is no comprehensive network to understand how marine life is responding to these changes, nor a pathway for understanding the existing and evolving role that the ocean plays in communities' lived experiences. Urgently needed are coordinated networks utilizing cheaper, faster, and higher-quality techniques to collect time-series data with broad spatial coverage that capture changes in marine ecosystems from plankton to whales. The Ecosystem Services Observation Network (ESON) RCN (Research Coordination Network) is developing a plan for an integrated multiscale sensor and observation system to dramatically expand our ability to assess coastal change and facilitate a better understanding of ecosystem services and health. California's existing monitoring programs primarily focus on primary producers and consumers, with data collection predominantly on an annual scale, and emphasis measurements of the abundance and distribution of marine species. Through a series of workshops, representatives of ocean users identified key gaps in the functional groups currently being monitored, the key measurements beyond abundance and distribution that are necessary to understand ecosystem services and ocean health, and the promising and emerging technologies that would advance these monitoring needs especially at higher spatiotemporal scales.

Erica Jarvis Mason, NOAA, Southwest Fisheries Science Center; William W. Watson, NOAA Fisheries SWFSC; Andrew R. Thompson, NOAA Fisheries SWFSC, Brice X. Semmens, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Environment-driven Trends in Fish Larval Abundance Predict Fishery Recruitment in Two Temperate Reef Congeners

Abstract >>

Environmental and biological processes acting on fish larvae were long thought to drive fishery cohort strength, but predictive ability oftentimes fell short and larval abundance is now considered to be more useful as a proxy for spawning stock biomass. In the face of a changing ocean, studies that relate environmental covariates, larval abundance, and fishery recruitment are still worthy of continued research, especially in data-limited contexts. Here we focus on a decades-long popular recreational-only multispecies fishery whose population status and recovery potential are uncertain. We used 54 years of ichthyoplankton data (1963-2016) and a powerful species distribution modeling framework to 1) reconstruct species-specific standardized indices of larval abundance, 2) test these indices as useful indicators of adult stock status or predictors of future fishery recruitment, and 3) to evaluate spatiotemporal trends in their population dynamics relative to environmental variables. Contrary to expectation, species-specific larval abundance predicted future catch across multiple catch data sets, with recent elevated larval abundance suggesting fishery recovery is imminent. Additionally, we identified strong relationships between environmental variables and species-specific larval abundance, thereby providing additional tools for predicting future fishery recruitment and anticipating population change. Our findings paint a path forward for improving estimates of current and future fishery status under changing natural and anthropogenic influences and the incorporation of ecosystem considerations into fishery management.

Erica Kinsel, Michael Montgomery, and Nina Jekel, University of California, Santa Barbara

California Fishers' Perceptions of El Nino: A Participatory Approach

Abstract >>


Gammon Koval, Farallon Institute

From Environment to Seabirds: Farallon Institute Data Products 

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Farallon Institute contributes observations and data products to the constellation of available datasets in California, including to the California Ocean Observing Systems. In this poster, we present a summary of these datasets, their collection and/or processing details, and how to access them. These data products span from the physical ocean to top predators: an environmental synthesis product Multivariate Ocean-Climate Indicator (MOCI), krill ‘density’ estimation from acoustic monitoring, breeding success of seabirds nesting on Alcatraz Island, and observations of seabirds at sea along California from two different ocean monitoring programs (CalCOFI and NOAA Rockfish Recruitment and Ecosystem Assessment surveys). Here, we also discuss plans and needs to complement or improve some of these data products, their use, and we provide a glimpse of ideas for future data products.

Jaime Jahncke and Meredith Elliott, Point Blue Conservation Science 

Safeguarding the Future: Rallying Support for Point Blue’s Farallon Islands Research Amid Funding Threats

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At the brink of losing vital funding, Point Blue’s Farallon Islands Research Program stands as a beacon of marine conservation, now at risk. Since April 1968 this program has been critical for baseline biological and environmental monitoring and research geared towards applied conservation efforts. The program has evolved into the foremost seabird breeding research program in the continental United States, documents long-term trends in five breeding pinniped species, the migratory patterns of vertebrates from songbirds to cetaceans, the predator/prey dynamics of white sharks, the assemblage of forage fish within the Gulf of the Farallones, and basic oceanographic and atmospheric metrics. For over five decades, the program has delivered critical insights into the ramifications of climate change, marine ecosystem dynamics, and anthropogenic pressures on a fragile ecological system. This research has precipitated pivotal environmental policy reforms, notably the 1987 prohibition of gill-netting, the 1993 legal protection of white sharks, and the creation of regional Marine Protected Areas in 2010. The program also provides data for NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessments, informs the State of the California Current Report, National Marine Sanctuary management, guides enforcement and management for California's Marine Protected Areas, informs Sanctuary measures to decrease ship strikes, and state efforts to prevent whale entanglements thus protecting the Dungeness crab fisheries. These achievements demonstrate the program's integral role in advancing marine conservation and policy reform in the California Current System and beyond. The program now confronts a precarious phase as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not be able to continue financial support starting as early as 2025. As we reflect on the program's many achievements, the looming threat of its discontinuation serves as a critical alarm to the marine conservation community. We appeal to the CalCOFI, IOOS, IEA community to affirm their support for the Farallon Islands Research Program and ensure its invaluable contributions endure.

Gerardo Aceves-Medina, Instituto Politécnico Nacional CICIMAR

Ichthyoplankton Species Richness along 40 years of Research in the Mexican Pacific

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The systematic observation of the oceans in the Mexican Pacific in terms of environmental measurements together with the collection of fish eggs and larvae, began in the West Coast of the Baja California Peninsula (WBCP) with the CalCOFI program between 1956 and 1984. In the late 70's and early 80's, scientist like Geoffrey Moser, Paul Smith and Ángeles Alvariño among others, trained Mexican researchers and students who initiated oceanographic cruises in isolated projects in the early 80's in the WBCP and in the Gulf of California (GC). In 1997, the IMECOCAL program was initiated in the WBCP seasonally in most years until 2019, while in the rest of the Mexican Pacific including the GC, the sampling effort continued to operate through projects of different institutions and with specific objectives, but all included the collection of zooplankton samples. In spite of being collections with different capture gears and methods of analysis, the sampling effort carried out by these pioneers in the study of Ichthyoplankton provide a good representation of the diversity of species in a region of strong environmental contrasts, which includes four biogeographic provinces (Panamic, Mexican, Cortés and San Diego), and is influenced by tropical, subtropical and temperate water masses. This work represents the first effort in bringing together the databases of 40 years of work in just over 150 cruises between 1984 and 2022 from Ensenada BC to the Gulf of Tehuantepec, Mexico. The objective was to determine the species richness of fish larvae for each area of the Mexican Pacific (Southern region of the California Current, GC, Mexican central Pacific and Gulf of Tehuantepec), which in total includes 706 taxa, 444 identified to species level, 152 to genus, 105 to family, and 5 to order.

Kathryn Chen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Current Trends in Ichthyoplankton Phenology in the California Current Ecosystem

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Marine fishes exhibit variations in the frequency and seasonality of reproduction within their life cycles. Spawn timing is often entrained by a combination of environmental and endogenous cues, which may not be synchronized with external factors optimizing larval and juvenile survival. This makes the study of fish spawning phenology in the context of a changing environment critical. Asch (2015) analyzed an assemblage of 43 larval fish species from 1951-2008 obtained from the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI). She found that overall, ichthyoplankton in the southern California Current Ecosystem (CCE) are appearing earlier in the year, and this advancing phenology is associated with shifts in several environmental factors including sea surface temperature, mesozooplankton displacement volume, and coastal upwelling. However, little further work on this topic has been initiated. Here, we conducted a partial replication of Asch (2015) using an updated CalCOFI ichthyoplankton dataset with 57 species from 1951-2022. We show that fishes in this assemblage have on average advanced their phenology by -1.88 days per decade, or -13.15 days since the 1950s– a considerably faster rate compared to the advance of -1.20 days/decade detailed in Asch (2015). Mesopelagic-oceanic species in particular are showing significant advancement, while 9 diverse species are exhibiting phenological delays. Trends in ichthyoplankton observations continue to correlate with trends in the seasonality of local environmental variables, and despite some effects of natural interannual-to-decadal climate variability, significant long-term trends in phenology are present in 63% of species. Our results highlight continuing phenological shifts in the southern CCE and are extended by a comparison study in the northern CCE with observational ichthyoplankton data obtained from the Newport Hydrographic Line.

Kimberly Stauffer, University of California, Davis

Examination of Age Class Niche Variation of Broadnose Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) in San Francisco Bay Through Stable Isotope Analysis

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The San Francisco Bay is the only presumed nursery ground for the Broadnose Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) where several age classes are found together. They likely have a top down effect on the ecosystem as apex predators; however, little more is understood about the species and their ecological role. We seek to determine the ecological roles of different age classes of sevengill sharks in the San Francisco Bay ecosystem using stomach contents and stable isotope analysis. We collected sevengill tissue samples during Spring and Summer seasons in addition to previously collected stomach contents. In Winter we collected possible prey samples with CDFW and used primary producer data from the bay supplied by another lab. Tissue samples were processed for Carbon (δC13) and Nitrogen (δN15) isotopes. We will graph δC13 against δN15 outputs from tissue samples to visualize and analyze possible niche partitioning among sevengill shark age classes by diet. This will be supplemented by data collected from stomach content. These results will allow us to gain a better understanding of ontogenetic shifts in niche occupancy of sevengill sharks. The commercial fishing of sharks is increasing around the world, raising concerns regarding their slow recovery from overfishing. Therefore, these results will also facilitate recommendations for improved fishing regulations and strategies to protect the conservation of the San Francisco Bay ecosystem.

Marina Frants, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Application Programming Interface (API) for Integrated CalCOFI Data Retrieval

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As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance accessibility and utility of the wealth of data housed within CalCOFI, we have developed an integrated Postgres database and an associated Application Programming Interface (API). This API allows users to programmatically query ichthyoplankton data filtered by cruise and species, and to match individual net tows with corresponding CTD bottle data. This is unique in that existing CalCOFI data serving tools currently allow data to be queried for an individual dataset (e.g., hydrographic or ichthyoplankton data), whereas the API will provide access to the integrated data and offers users flexibility in accessing and retrieving pertinent data. The integrated data are accessible both programmatically, and through a browser-based user interface. The API also works well with interactive applications and automatically generated reports, for which we will share examples. During our presentation, we will provide an in-depth demonstration of the API’s functionality, illustrating step-by-step procedures for filtering and retrieving data. Additionally, we will outline our plans for future development, including enhancements to the API's capabilities and expanded functionalities to accommodate evolving user needs.

Michael Johns, Point Blue Conservation Science

Status and Trends of Marine Bird Populations at the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, California

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Point Blue Conservation Science, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been compiling data on the abundance, reproductive performance, and diet of marine birds at the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge in central California since 1968. We used these long-term data series to examine the status and population trends of ten species of marine birds which breed on the Refuge. Bird populations have exhibited differing trends among species over the past 50 years. Common murres (Uria aalge) and tufted puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) remained at low numbers up until the early 2000s, when their populations experienced a dramatic and steady increase through to the present year. The population of pigeon guillemots (cepphus columba) have also generally increased over the same timeseries. In contrast, western gulls (Larus occidentalis), pelagic cormorants (Urile pelagicus), double-crested cormorants (Nannopterum auritus), and ashy storm-petrels (Hydrobates homochroa) have generally declined. Though Brandt’s cormorants (Urile penicillatus) have gone through periods of growth followed by population crashes associated with warm water anomalies, the population has been steadily increasing over the last five years. Cassin’s auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) have exhibited an overall stable population trend over the last 35 years, characterized by periods of slow growth, followed by intermittent steep population declines associated with poor environmental conditions. All seabird population data from this study are shared for use in regional assessments and stored on the CalIOOS data repository.

Nastassia Patin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

eDNA Four Ways: An intercalibration experiment of sampling and processing methods for eDNA collection on CalCOFI

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Environmental DNA (eDNA) offers a non-invasive and cost-effective method for species detection in marine ecosystems. However, sampling and laboratory methods vary widely across labs and monitoring programs, which prevents direct comparison of data across space, time, and program scope. Here, we present results from a comparison of four commonly used eDNA sampling methods on the West Coast of North America. Samples generated from this experiment, which was performed on a CalCOFI cruise in the fall of 2022, were processed and analyzed using three different marker genes to assess different levels of the trophic web. We compared communities of invertebrates, teleost fish, and mammals across all four methods and found no significant differences across methods based on diversity, composition, and core taxa detected in each sample set. These results will facilitate the integration and inter-comparison of disparate data sets from historical sampling efforts and guide future approaches for eDNA-based biomonitoring on CalCOFI. They will further provide the basis for recommended protocols by the West Coast Ocean Biomolecular Observing Network (WC-OBON), which forms a community of practice for eDNA work in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

Pete Warzybok, Point Blue Conservation Science

Status and Trends of Pinniped Populations at the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, California

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Point Blue Conservation Science, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been monitoring the abundance of five different pinniped species on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge in central California since 1970. We used these long-term data series to examine the status and population trends of pinnipeds on the Refuge. Outlawing the lethal take and mitigating human disturbance to pinnipeds on the Farallones has resulted in a general recovery of all five species. After extirpation by the mid-1800s from commercial hunting, northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) have recolonized the islands, with the first modern day pups in 1972 and 1996 respectively. Initially, northern elephant seal numbers grew and peaked in the early 1990s, but significant degradation of sandy beaches on the islands in combination with several decades of low pup production has led to a steep population decline in recent years. Northern fur seals have experienced continued exponential growth since re-colonization, with a rookery of several thousand adults and over 1,000 pups in 2023. The islands served as a haul-out site only for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) prior to about 2009, with a current rookery that has expanded from 50 pups in 2010 to over 1,000 in 2023 and counts of adults exceeding 10,000 individuals in recent years. Annual high counts of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) have remained between 100 and 400 individuals. Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) have used the islands primarily as a minor haul-out site.