California Ocean Science Trust

Oakland, California, United States

California Ocean Science Trust

Oakland, California, United States
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Klinger T.,University of Washington | Chornesky E.A.,Carmel | Whiteman E.A.,California Ocean Science Trust | Chan F.,Oregon State University | And 2 more authors.
Elementa | Year: 2017

Ocean acidification is intensifying and hypoxia is projected to expand in the California Current large marine ecosystem as a result of processes associated with the global emission of CO2. Observed changes in the California Current outpace those in many other areas of the ocean, underscoring the pressing need to adopt management approaches that can accommodate uncertainty and the complicated dynamics forced by accelerating change. We argue that changes occurring in the California Current large marine ecosystem provide opportunities and incentives to adopt an integrated, systems-level approach to resource management to preserve existing ecosystem services and forestall abrupt change. Practical options already exist to maximize the benefits of management actions and ameliorate impending change in the California Current, for instance, adding ocean acidification and hypoxia to design criteria for marine protected areas, including consideration of ocean acidification and hypoxia in fisheries management decisions, and fully enforcing existing laws and regulations that govern water quality and land use and development. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s).

McLaughlin K.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority | Weisberg S.B.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority | Dickson A.G.,University of California at San Diego | Hofmann G.E.,University of California at Santa Barbara | And 11 more authors.
Oceanography | Year: 2015

Numerous monitoring efforts are underway to improve understanding of ocean acidification and its impacts on coastal environments, but there is a need to develop a coordinated approach that facilitates spatial and temporal comparisons of drivers and responses on a regional scale. Toward that goal, the California Current Acidification Network (C-CAN) held a series of workshops to develop a set of core principles for facilitating integration of ocean acidification monitoring efforts on the US West Coast. The recommended core principles include: (1) monitoring measurements should facilitate determination of aragonite saturation state (Ωarag) as the common currency of comparison, allowing a complete description of the inorganic carbon system; (2) maximum uncertainty of ±0.2 in the calculation of Ωarag is required to adequately link changes in ocean chemistry to changes in ecosystem function; (3) inclusion of a variety of monitoring platforms and levels of effort in the network will insure collection of high-frequency temporal data at fixed locations as well as spatial mapping across locations; (4) physical and chemical oceanographic monitoring should be linked with biological monitoring; and (5) the monitoring network should share data and make it accessible to a broad audience. © 2015 by The Oceanography Society. All rights reserved.

Cigliano J.A.,Cedar Crest College | Meyer R.,California Ocean Science Trust | Ballard H.L.,University of California at Davis | Freitag A.,Virginia Sea Grant | And 2 more authors.
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2015

Against the backdrop of a dramatic increase in citizen science activity worldwide, we convened a combined symposium and focus group at the 2014 International Marine Conservation Congress to consider the challenges and opportunities for mobilizing citizen science in the marine and coastal environment. Highlighting the diversity of existing models and approaches to citizen science, participants focused on six different conservation-related outcomes that citizen science projects can potentially support: policy, education, community capacity building, site management, species management, and research. We provide two example case studies of projects and summarize the key themes and recommendations associated with each of those outcomes. The result is a series of "toolkits" that can help to guide new and existing citizen science projects that aim to support management and conservation of ocean resources, as well as providing insights and recommendations to stimulate further research on and assessment of marine and coastal citizen science programs. Citizen science is an effective approach to conservation and it is time for this underutilized resource to become a more prominent approach for marine and coastal conservation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Busch D.S.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | O'Donnell M.J.,California Ocean Science Trust | Hauri C.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Mach K.J.,Carnegie Institution for Science | And 3 more authors.
Oceanography | Year: 2015

Over the past decade, ocean acidification (OA) has emerged as a major concern in ocean science. The field of OA is based on certainties—uptake of carbon dioxide into the global ocean alters its carbon chemistry, and many marine organisms, especially calcifiers, are sensitive to this change. However, the field must accommodate uncertainties about the seriousness of these impacts as it synthesizes and draws conclusions from multiple disciplines. There is pressure from stakeholders to expeditiously inform society about the extent to which OA will impact marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them. Ultimately, decisions about actions related to OA require evaluating risks about the likelihood and magnitude of these impacts. As the scientific literature accumulates, some of the uncertainty related to single-species sensitivity to OA is diminishing. Difficulties remain in scaling laboratory results to species and ecosystem responses in nature, though modeling exercises provide useful insight. As recognition of OA grows, scientists’ ability to communicate the certainties and uncertainties of our knowledge on OA is crucial for interaction with decision makers. In this regard, there are a number of valuable practices that can be drawn from other fields, especially the global climate change community. A generally accepted set of best practices that scientists follow in their discussions of uncertainty would be helpful for the community engaged in ocean acidification. © 2015 by The Oceanography Society. All rights reserved.

Lester S.E.,University of California at Santa Cruz | McLeod K.L.,Oregon State University | Tallis H.,Stanford University | Ruckelshaus M.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 11 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2010

Declining ocean health, increasing human demands on marine ecosystems, and a history of management focused on individual activities, species or sectors has led to calls for more comprehensive, integrated management that considers entire coupled social-ecological systems. This transition to ecosystem-based management (EBM) for the oceans will certainly face a number of hurdles, and many practitioners struggle with how to move forward with EBM. In this paper, we assess whether the necessary science exists to support EBM. Specifically, we evaluate the state of the social and natural sciences for three research areas that are critical to EBM: (1) ecosystem services, (2) cumulative impacts, and (3) ecosystem variability and change. For each of the three research areas, we describe its importance to EBM and assess existing and emerging information and application of this knowledge, focusing on the US West Coast. We conclude that available science is not the bottleneck for moving forward with comprehensive EBM for this region, although we highlight important remaining knowledge gaps, particularly within the social sciences. Given imperfect and uncertain knowledge, EBM calls for an adaptive management approach, starting with readily available information, and continuously adapting as new information emerges. This synthesis can serve as a basis for comparison for other regions; it provides guidance for organizing information in support of EBM and outlines many novel and broadly applicable scientific approaches. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

Boehm A.B.,Stanford University | Jacobson M.Z.,Stanford University | O'donnell M.J.,California Ocean Science Trust | Sutula M.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project | And 3 more authors.
Oceanography | Year: 2015

Natural circulation patterns along the west coast of North America periodically draw subthermocline, low pH waters into shallow coastal areas. The presence of corrosive, low pH waters, caused by ocean acidification (OA), is frequently observed along the North American west coast. Reduction of global atmospheric CO2 inputs is the appropriate management focus for decreasing OA, but there are also many management decisions made at regional to local spatial scales that can lessen the exposure to or limit the effects of atmospheric CO2. Here, we describe these local management actions and identify the science needs that would assist local managers in deciding whether, and how best, to address local OA. Science needs are diverse, but three commonalities emerge. First, managers need a comprehensive monitoring program that expands understanding of spatial and temporal OA patterns and how OA changes influence marine ecosystems. Second, they require mechanistic, processbased models that differentiate natural from anthropogenically driven OA patterns and the extent to which local actions would affect OA conditions in context of what is largely a global atmospheric-driven phenomenon. Models present the opportunity to visualize outcomes with and without the changes in management actions included in model scenarios. Third, managers need models that identify which locales are most and least vulnerable to future changes due to OA. Understanding vulnerability will assist managers in better siting facilities (e.g., aquaria) or protecting marine resources. The required monitoring and modeling are all achievable, with much of the necessary research and development already underway. The challenge will be to ensure good and continuing communication between the management community that requires the information and the scientific community that is often hesitant to provide recommendations while uncertainty remains high. © 2015 by The Oceanography Society. All rights reserved.

King P.G.,San Francisco State University | McGregor A.R.,California Ocean Science Trust | Whittet J.D.,Rye Beach
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management | Year: 2016

This paper examines five representative sites on the California coast to illustrate a cost-effective methodology using tools and data that local decision makers can apply to analyse the economics of sea level rise (SLR) adaptation. We estimate the costs/benefits of selected responses (e.g. no action, nourishment, seawalls) to future flooding and erosion risks exacerbated by SLR. We estimate the economic value of changes to public/private property, recreational and habitat value, and beach related spending/tax revenues. Our findings indicate that the costs of SLR are significant but uneven across communities, and there is no single best strategy for adaptation. For example, Los Angeles's Venice Beach could lose $450 million in tourism revenue by 2100 with a 1.4 m SLR scenario while San Francisco's Ocean Beach would lose $80 million, but the impacts to structures could total nearly $560 million at Ocean Beach compared to $50 million at Venice Beach. © 2015 University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Water quality is a persistent problem despite decades of regulation. Theory suggests that more successful outcomes may occur if the assumption of a shared definition of the problem is questioned. This study explores whether different definitions may arise out of diverse ways of knowing and the implications including this diversity may have for policymaking. Through semi-structured interviews and participant observation, this research documents the perspectives of experiential knowledge in a fishing community in North Carolina, academic knowledge in the scientific community, and political knowledge in the management community. Results show that beginning with definition, these perspectives differ in framing water quality issues, laying responsibility, and delineating potential solutions. Those who can communicate between knowledge groups emerged as a particularly important, yet shrinking, group in establishing trust. Efforts to solve water quality issues in the future would benefit by incorporating these perspectives and fostering boundary-spanning for a more comprehensive view of water quality. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Meyer R.,California Ocean Science Trust | McAfee S.,California Ocean Science Trust | Whiteman E.,California Ocean Science Trust
Climate Risk Management | Year: 2015

Boundary organizations play an important role in stabilizing interactions between science and nonscience. In this paper we focus on how boundary organizations not only serve a variety of actors across a complex science-policy landscape, but also actively shape that landscape over time through process, institution building, and partnership building. Some of these partnerships are with other boundary organizations, thus forming "boundary chains". We draw on our experiences in convening the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel, an interdisciplinary group of scientists working to inform regional, state and federal responses to complex ecological, social and economic issues with rapidly evolving scientific understanding. From within a landscape already populated with a diverse set of institutions and actors focused on this issue, we illustrate how the Panel itself functions simultaneously at different positions within multiple boundary chains, mobilizing a variety of boundary organization partners to deliver on its mandate. In describing these arrangements, we show how political context and a shifting balance among credibility, legitimacy, and salience as near-term priorities have shaped both the posture and focus of the panel at different stages in its evolution. This case study suggests that boundary chains are necessary in order to advance the integration of science and decision making related to a complex emerging issue, especially at the scale of the North American West Coast. We also examine the nature of links among boundary organizations, and the kinds of benefits they confer upon individual actors, and upon the network as a whole. In some cases the benefit is through increased efficiency or reduced individual transaction costs. In others, the existence of linked chains may increase the power and value of individual interactions. In considering the issues of efficiency and transaction costs, we argue that it is important to remember that boundary organizations and boundary chains tend to increase the overall number transactions in the system. Indeed, this is part of their value in linking science and decision making: they multiply and strengthen relationships in a space where interactions were previously both few and ineffective. © 2015 The Authors.

King P.,San Francisco State University | McGregor A.,California Ocean Science Trust
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2012

Accurately assessing visitation patterns at California's beaches is critical; human use data is a primary input into beach assessments that inform staffing, amenities, beach nourishment and the loss of interim use following beach closures. If beach attendance estimates are inaccurate, then these assessments will be similarly inaccurate and could result in the misallocation of public resources to staff and manage coastal lands.This study assesses attendance estimates at selected beaches in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties by comparing official agency estimates to study estimates informed by periodic counts and sub-sampling techniques. We conclude that official counts often seriously overestimate attendance, in some cases on average by a factor over 5, and that this bias is not random but correlated with a number of factors, including the relative daily attendance load, the size of the beach, and the methodologies employed to produce estimates.The methods agencies use to estimate attendance are often based on old algorithms from unavailable studies that are unsuitable for accurately measuring visitation patterns across user groups. While our results pose serious questions to the accuracy of beach attendance estimates in southern California, there are a number of tangible and economical measures that agencies can take to evaluate and improve their current beach attendance methodologies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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