Project Description: South Coast Marine Protected Area Baseline Characterization and Monitoring Project

Summary

The primary goal of this project is to characterize the distribution, abundance, and community composition of fishes, invertebrates, and seafloor microhabitats in ten of the newly-designated MPAs in the CA Marine Life Protection Act’s South Coast Study region. Photograph and video imagery was collected (2011-2013) collected using an ROV. Post-processing of project data is on-going in the IfAME Image Analysis Lab. Currently the primary emphases on this project are a) synthesizing data with other baseline characterization projects, and b) planning for long-term monitoring.

Student Involvement

This project, thus far, has engaged a total of 10 students from CSUMB, including 5 undergraduates and 5 graduate students, in field research activities, data post-processing, and analysis.

Broader Significance

On January 1, 2012, the California Fish and Game Commission designated 52 marine protected areas (356 square miles) in the South Coast Study Region (extending from Point Conception in the north to the US-Mexico border in the south) under California’s Marine Life Protection Act. This project is part of the South Coast MPA Baseline Data Collection Project, which will directly inform the management of these MPAs.

IfAME PI

Dr. James Lindholm

Financial Support

California SeaGrant, CSUMB Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center, James W. Rote Distinguished Professorship in Marine Science and Policy at CSU Monterey Bay, Private donations

Field Support

F/V Donna Kathleen

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