Poster Session: Abstracts & Awards
The MBNMS presents awards for outstanding research posters presented at the MBNMS Sanctuary Currents Symposium. The judges determine the specific kinds of awards to present each year based on the posters presented at the Symposium.
2004 Best Overall Poster
Kieckhefer, T.R., J. Cassidy, J. Hoffman, S.L. Reif and D. Maldini
Pacific Cetacean Group, Moss Landing, CA
RISE AND FALL OF SOUTHERN SEA OTTERS (ENHYDRA LUTRIS NEREIS) IN ELKHORN SLOUGH, CALIFORNIA, 1994-2003
2004 Best Thematic Poster
Worcester, Karen R. (1), Mary Adams (1) and Dave Paradies (2)
1. Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
2. Bay Foundation of Morro Bay
WATER QUALITY IN THE WATHERSHEDS AND NEARSHORE AREAS OF MONTEREY BAY: FINDINGS OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMBIENT MONITORING PROGRAM. THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM: MORTALITY AND THE WILDLIFE PATHOLOGIST
2004 Best Student Poster
Thurber, Andrew and Nick Welschmeyer
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
2004 Best High School Student Poster
Qi, Roy (1), Rebecca Lisette Vega (2), and David Epel (2)
1. Campolindo High School, Moraga, CA
2. Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Station
Poster Session Abstracts
* Denotes high school student eligible for Best Student Poster Award
§ Denotes graduate student eligible for Best Student Poster Award
Allen, Heather and Brittany Brooke
Friends of the Sea Otter, Pacific Grove, CA
WATER QUALITY AND SEA OTTER HEALTH IN MONTEREY BAYThe southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) has experienced a high level of mortality in recent years. Necropsy records attribute more than 60% of the deaths to diseases. Evidence suggests that otters are at risk of developing weakened immune systems and contracting diseases due to water contamination derived from treated wastewater discharge, sewage spills, and runoff. Otters, a keystone and indicator species, share habitat and food with humans, and are an important gauge of our own health and safety. We have gathered information from several Monterey Bay area water monitoring programs to define the current knowledge base on water contamination. We focused on the data from CCLEAN, the Central Coast Long-Term Environmental Assessment Network, a monitoring program that coordinates sampling data from rivers, wastewater treatment effluent, sediment and mussels to measure persistent organic phosphates, fecal coliform, and other contaminants. We reviewed the potential connections between water contaminants and sea otter health, and looked at pending studies that may clarify these connections. We recommend that further research is needed to determine the full impact of water contamination on sea otters, and in the interim suggest a precautionary stance aimed at improving water quality in Monterey Bay.
§Alt, Katie and Todd Newberry
Department of Ocean Science, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
THE EFFECT OF FLOW REGIME ON COLONY MORPHOLOGY OF THE HYDROID, BOUGAINVILLIA MUSCUS
The relationship between flow regime and prey capture is a driving force for mophological adaptation. Colonial cnidarians often grow short and compact in robust flow, and tall and elongated in calm water. This range of shapes permits more efficient suspension feeding in the given flow regime. To further understand the complex relationships between a organism and its environment, this study decoupled flow regime and prey capture to determine if flow alone can bring about the same developmental response. While controlling for food intake, we tested the effects of flow regime on colony morphology of the hydroid Bougainvillia muscus. Regardless of food availability, colonies grew tall and elongated in still water, short and compact in flow. In spatially varying flow, a colony's morphological response was highly localized to the immediate environment. In response to temporal variations in flow, colonies were able to selectively activate and deactivate zones of growth. Since water flow and prey capture are normally correlated in the natural environment, this study suggests that colonies of B. muscus may have evolved to use water flow as a proximate cue to develop a morphology that permits the ultimate reward: efficient suspension feeding in a given flow regime.
Ames, Jack (1), Brian Hatfield (2), and Andy Johnson (3)
1. California Department of Fish and Game, Santa Cruz, CA
2. U.S. Geological Survey
3. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA
THE POTENTIAL FOR SEA OTTERS TO DROWN IN DUNGENESS CRAB TRAPS AND A POSSIBLE SOLUTION
Previous studies have addressed the potential for sea otters to be drowning in fish traps (Hatfield et al., 2001; Estes et al., 2003). With those concerns in mind we began to view with some alarm the large number of sightings of sea otters, during rangewide survey overflights, in offshore habitat where significant numbers of crab trap buoys were also observed. In this study we tested both Dungeness crabs and sea otters to see what size openings each could transit. The fyke openings in several hundred commercial crab traps we examined were consistently approximately 9 inches wide by 4 inches high. The previous work done by repeatedly pulling dead otters of all sizes through parallel bars that were moved closer and closer together, and the present work done where live otters were encouraged to transit smaller and smaller rigid rectangular openings (similar to crab trap openings), demonstrate that sizeable numbers of young independent sea otters (i.e., foraging on their own) are vulnerable to the current 4-inch-high opening in commercial crab traps. Our tests on Dungeness crabs suggest that the entrance to crab traps could be a full inch narrower (i.e., 3 inches by 9 inches rather than 4 inches by 9 inches) without markedly affecting catch. An opening of 3 inches by 9 inches would also result in the exclusion of virtually all independent sea otters.
Ammann, Arnold J., Ellen V. Freund, and R. Bruce MacFarlane
National Marine Fisheries Service, Santa Cruz Laboratory, CA
WATER QUALITY IN SCOTT CREEK ESTUARY: EFFECTS OF SEAWATER INCURSION ON DISSOLVED OXYGEN LEVELS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR JUVENILE SALMONIDS
The Scott Creek watershed supports a small estuary that is seasonally closed to direct exchange with the ocean by the formation of a sandbar in summer until the sandbar breaches in late fall or early winter. In 2003 we monitored environmental conditions in the estuary continuously at one site and occasionally with large scale spatial surveys. We observed that during the closed period the estuary was almost completely freshwater. However, when large waves overtopped the sandbar, considerable amounts of seawater were added to the estuary. This led to stratification of the water column (cool freshwater near the surface, warm salty water below) followed by an overall decrease in dissolved oxygen levels until reaching anoxic conditions after about three days. These low oxygen levels persisted for several days until another large wave event added new seawater to the system or the sandbar was breached causing the estuary to empty into the ocean. If these hypoxic conditions existed throughout the closed estuary, the only refuge for fish would be upstream in freshwater. We were unable to sample for steelhead juveniles during this hypoxic period due to high water levels. Soon after the hypoxic conditions, the sandbar opened allowing the fish to leave.
Anderson, B.S. (1), J.W. Hunt (1), B.M. Phillips (1), P.A. Nicely (1), K. Gilbert (1), R.A. Kosaka (1), V. de Vlaming (1,2), R. Tjeerdema (1)
1. Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA
2. State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento, CA
ECOTOXICOLOGIC EFFECTS OF AGRICULTURAL DRAIN WATER IN THE SALINAS RIVER
The Salinas River watershed supports rapidly growing urban areas and intensive agriculture. Previous monitoring in selected areas of the lower watershed used Ceriodaphnia dubia toxicity tests, TIEs, and chemical measures to identify toxic agricultural and urban stormwater drains. In the present gradient study, four stations were monitored for a number of physical, chemical, toxicologic, and ecological characteristics as part of a continuing investigation designed to assess the ecotoxicologic effects of one of these drains on the Salinas River. Concentrations of chlorpyrifos and diazinon exceeded the effect threshold for C. dubia at the 3 river stations downstream of the agricultural drain input, while the upstream reference station remained relatively uncontaminated. Laboratory and in situ toxicity tests with C. dubia confirmed that Salinas River water was toxic at these downstream stations. Downstream sediments were also significantly toxic to the amphipod Hyalella azteca, a resident species, and concentrations of OP pesticides in the sediment interstitial water sometimes exceeded the effects threshold for this species. Macroinvertebrate densities, species richness, and the number of EPT taxa were also significantly reduced at the downstream stations relative to the upstream station. These data were combined in a weight-of-evidence assessment of the effects of polluted drain water on the River.
§Anderson, Joelle and Sarah Cohen
Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies
Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, Tiburon, CA
GENETIC CHANGES IN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM OF AN ATLANTIC ESTUARINE KILLIFISH(FUNDULUS HETEROCLITUS) POPULATION FOLLOWING ADAPTATION TO CHRONIC CONTAMINANT EXPOSURE
Alterations in genetic structure can cause a population to be more susceptible to further environmental change or novel pathogens and may also reduce the reproductive success of a population. This study focuses on genetic changes in the immune system of an Atlantic estuarine killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) population following chronic contaminant exposure. The heavily PCB polluted site, Bridgeport, CT, and two clean nearby reference sites, Westport, CT and Flax Pond, NY were chosen for this study. We will be testing for genetic changes by comparing DNA sequence data on the Class II DB loci of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), which plays a critical role in the adaptive immune response. MHC Class II DB loci are being used because of their high variability and due to hypothesized relationships between degraded environmental conditions and immunogenetic selection. Contaminants are thought to alter parasite load and in turn affect the MHC indirectly, as well as potentially by more direct immune system effects. In addition to genetic analysis, we will be conducting gross internal surveys of parasites in fish from each population to test for parasite load differences between populations. This research will use novel approaches to population level MHC comparisons based on functional substitution patterns and haplotype variability. This mid-Atlantic project will expand on a collection of information on immunogenetic variation among polluted and healthy Fundulus populations along the eastern coast of the US.
§Atwater, Daniel P.1, Michael S. Cook1, Jeffrey D. Paduan1, and Bruce L. Lipphardt, Jr.2
1. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
2. University of Delaware, Newark, DE
REAL-TIME SURFACE CURRENT ANALYSES IN MONTEREY BAY FROM HF RADAR DURING THE AUTONOMOUS OCEAN SAMPLING NETWORK (AOSN) EXPERIMENT
Increasing numbers of HF radars now map synoptic coastal surface currents hourly with spatial resolution of a few kilometers. As these radars become part of a global ocean observing system, real-time analysis and distribution of surface current products presents a significant challenge. Moreover, many potential users of real-time currents actually require descriptions of near surface transport (studies of evolving algal blooms or pollution spills, for example) which are most naturally described by particle studies. Beginning with the August 2003 AOSN experiment, we have been displaying (on the web) hourly surface current products from Monterey Bay in near real-time. These products are delayed by one to two measurement cycles (one to two hours) to allow for data collection from remote radar sites, processing and objective mapping of the radar measurements, and computation of derived statistical and simulated drifter products. Typically, all data products, including particle simulations, are available on the web within 45 minutes of the completion of a radar averaging interval. A description of the analysis scheme, examples of data products, and lessons learned will be presented.
Bergen, Lydia, Mark Carr, and Pete Raimondi
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
INTRODUCTION TO PARTNERSHIP FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES OF COASTAL OCEANS (PISCO)
Launched in 1999, Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) is a consortium of marine scientists at four universities along the west coastOregon State University, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford University, and UC Santa Barbara. PISCO consists of an integrated research program of nearshore oceanography, rocky-shore ecosystems, and kelp-forest ecosystems, an interdisciplinary training program, and a policy and outreach program. In conducting our research, PISCO focuses on the California Current that spans the west coast of the United States. PISCO researchers intend to continue biological and physical monitoring of the nearshore portion of the California Current ecosystem over multiple decades. All aspects of PISCO research including oceanographic, rocky-shore, and kelp-forest monitoring and process studies take place within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary boundaries. This poster highlights some of the recent projects and findings-to-date conducted by PISCO scientists in the sanctuary. Projects include a collaborative study with sanctuary staff of species abundance and diversity at potential erosion sites along the Big Sur coast, a study of fish movement off the Hopkins Marine Station, a coast-wide shoreline inventory of species abundance and diversity, and an update on the status of abalone withering disease within the sanctuary.
Berkeley, S.A. (1), S.M. Sogard (2), and R. Fisher (2)
1. University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
2. NOAA/NMFS, Santa Cruz, CA
ROCKFISH REPRODUCTIVE STRATEGIES: LARVAL CONDITION VS. LARVAL SIZE
All rockfish of the speciose genus Sebastes are livebearers. At parturition, larvae are typically 4-5 mm in length and have a single oil globule comprised of energy rich TAG (triacylglycerol) lipids. Our current studies of larval ecology include comparisons of these traits among species and as a function of maternal age within species. Contrasting patterns among the five species examined thus far suggest that the season of spawning influences reproductive strategy. Blue and black rockfish (Sebastes melanops and S. mystinis) have relatively small larvae with large oil globules, and give birth early in the season (December - March). In contrast, gopher (S. carnatus) and kelp (S. atrovirens) rockfish give birth late in the season (April - June) to larger, more well-developed larvae with small oil globules. Olive rockfish (S. serranoides) are also winter spawners, but their larvae are intermediate in both size and oil globule volume at birth. We hypothesize that larvae born in late spring or early summer may not require the same endogenous energy supplies as those entering the plankton in mid-winter. These contrasts suggest a maternally controlled tradeoff between larval size and energy stores at parturition.
§Bond, Morgan H. (1,2), Sean A. Hayes (2), Chad V. Hanson (2), Brian K. Wells (2), and R.B. MacFarlane (2)
1. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
2. NOAA Fisheries, Santa Cruz Laboratory, CA
IMPORTANCE OF ESTUARINE HABITAT TO STEELHEAD GROWTH AND SURVIVAL IN A CENTRAL CALIFORNIA STREAM
Determination of critical habitats for steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) listed under the Endangered Species Act is becoming increasingly important as populations remain threatened. We are investigating the significance of estuarine habitat and how its use by juvenile steelhead may contribute to increased growth and survival at sea. Scott Creek, a small watershed in central California, contains an estuary which some juvenile steelhead utilize before heading to sea. Growth rates of steelhead in the estuary are 4-5 times those in more upstream waters, indicating that fish of the same age in both habitats may be drastically different sizes upon smoltification and ocean entry. Back-calculation of size at ocean entry of returning adults from scale analysis supports the hypothesis that larger fish have higher survival at sea than do smaller fish. Trapping of downstream migrants from the upper reaches of the watershed, and monthly monitoring of estuarine resident growth, indicate that the mean fork length of estuarine steelhead is almost twice that of the upstream reared steelhead upon ocean entry. We are currently conducting microchemical analysis of adult steelhead scales to determine whether a chemical signal may specify juvenile habitat usage. This study will clarify the significance of estuary waters in steelhead persistence.
Carr, Mark (1), Steve Lonhart (2), Pete Raimondi (1)
1. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
2. Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN), Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
MARINE RESOURCE CHARACTERIZATION OF INTERTIDAL AND SUBTIDAL SITES INFLUENCED BY LANDSLIDES IN BIG SUR
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the California Coastal Commission are working closely with the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) and several other local, state, and federal agencies to develop a Corridor Management Plan along the Big Sur Coast. Highway 1 in Big Sur is often subject to delays and closures due to storms, washouts, and landslides. The purpose of the Big Sur Coast Highway Management Plan (CHMP) is to develop sustainable strategies that ensure the safe and efficient operation of the highway while protecting the unique qualities and sensitive terrestrial and marine resources of this remarkable coastline. As one part of the CHMP, this project was designed to survey intertidal and nearshore subtidal areas along the Big Sur coast. The surveys will focus on areas of coastline known or with the greatest potential to be affected by highway repairs from landslides or other storm-related events. Researchers will characterize sites by their biological assemblages, general geology, local wave action and exposure, and proximity to recent landslides. The data collected include species lists, population densities, and presence of economically important, particularly sensitive and/or endangered species. The results will be placed into multiple GIS-data layers and maps for resource managers and the public. Sites will be re-sampled in June 2004 to detect seasonal differences. A final report will be available in Fall 2004.
de Marignac, J. (1), J.J. Bizzarro (2), L.Y. Murai (2), R.N. Lea (3), E.J. Burton (1), and H.G. Greene (2)
1. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
2. Center for Habitat Studies, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
3. California Department of Fish and Game, Monterey, CA
CHARACTERIZATION OF THE GEOLOGY, BENTHIC HABITATS, AND FISH ASSEMBLAGE OF THE HEADWARD PORTION OF PARTINGON CANYON
Partington Canyon is one of the northeast Pacific coast's youngest and most active submarine canyons. Erosion of the coastal slope onshore supplies the submarine environment with very coarse-grained materials that appear to be scouring and eroding its walls and producing a dynamic and complex seafloor morphology. These processes may contribute substantial sediment and detritus to the continental shelf, upper slope, and submarine canyons along the Big Sur coast and may form promising habitats for -investigate the geologic characteristics of the region, distinguish and map distinct benthic habitat types, and characterize the demersal fish assemblage. In July 2003, we conducted a side-scan sonar survey in the Partington Canyon area and created a habitat map. In September 2003, we completed five submersible dives: one geology dive to ground-truth habitat interpretations and to further describe geologic features noted from seafloor imagery; and four dives across depth strata to identify, enumerate, and measure demersal fishes. Preliminary results of this study include a geologic description and habitat interpretation of the region, and a characterization of the demersal fish assemblage noted at the time of survey. This study is part of an ongoing monitoring project by the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (SIMoN).
California State University Monterey Bay, CA
Department of Fish and Game, CA
USING GIS TO MAP FISHERIES CATCH FOR THE CALIFORNIA MARINE PROTECTION AREA PLANNING PROCESS
The Marine Life Protection Act requires California Department of Fish and Game to create a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the California coast. Visual representations of catch data illustrate areas of high or low catch production. Using catch data helps determine if fishery closures or reopening due to habitat destruction or loss of fish regeneration along the California coast is needed. Data for five different types of fishing operations and 26 fish species was depicted on 88 maps. Fisheries templates were created using ArcMap 8.2. Fisheries data were researched, compiled and inserted into map templates. Excel, ArcMap 8.2, and ArcView 3.2 were used to compile and create species maps, metadata and database information. This poster illustrates the process by which maps were compiled, provides examples of maps produced, and summarizes how these will be used in managing California's coastal fisheries.
§Freiwald, Jan and Craig Syms
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
MOVEMENT PATTERNS OF TEMPERATURE REEF FISHES: AN IMPORTANT PARAMETER IN POPULATION DYNAMICS AND MPA DESIGN
Post-settlement movement of adult reef fish has received little attention in the theoretical development of reef fish ecology but is likely to be important in regulating population structure and influencing the spatial distribution of populations, especially in long-lived species such as rockfish. Movement of individuals is an important demographic process that contributes to the size of a local population, and modifies the distribution of the population with respect to spatially varying resources. We are using an acoustic tracking system to study the movement of three common species of temperate reef fish off the California Coast: kelp rockfish, blue rockfish and kelp greenling. We have tagged individuals of these species off the Monterey Peninsula with acoustic tags that allow us to monitor their movement on a scale of meters within our study sites. Over-laying the movement behavior with biological and physical habitat factors will help us to further the understanding of how movement of adults structure reef fish populations are in space and time, with respect to their habitat. This also has applied value to management especially to the design of MPAs, since their size and shape will be influenced by the movement rates and distances of species targeted for protection.
Freund, Ellen V., and R. Bruce MacFarlane
NOAA Fisheries, Santa Cruz Laboratory, CA
GROWTH AND TEMPERATURE PREFERENCE OF JUVENILE SALMONIDS IN SMALL CENTRAL CALIFORNIA ESTUARIES<
The importance of estuaries in salmonid early life history has been debated, with most research focusing on large estuaries that remain open to the ocean all year. Smaller estuaries, many of which are closed seasonally by sandbars, have received little study. The small estuaries along the California coast may be important rearing areas for steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and coho salmon (O. kisutch). The open/closed state of these estuaries may affect the fish's development and ultimate survival. We report preliminary findings on growth and condition of salmonids in three small estuaries that empty into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (Redwood Creek, Marin Co., Gazos Creek, San Mateo Co. and Scott Creek, Santa Cruz Co.). PIT tags were used to identify individual juveniles. Fish were sampled in each estuary by seining approximately once a month throughout most of 2003. Results show very different growth rates between the estuaries, with the fastest growth in Scott Creek. Small archival temperature loggers were deployed on 17 juvenile steelhead in Scott lagoon, 5 of which were recovered. Data from these tags provide information on temperature preferences and habitat utilization within the estuary. These data can then be incorporated into future restoration and enhancement plans.
Hardin, Dane D. (1), Barbara Pierson (2), Akin Babatola (3), Jon Popper (4), Ray Vondohren (5), and Karen Worcester (6)
1. Applied Marine Sciences
2. City of Watsonville
3. City of Santa Cruz
4. Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency
5. Carmel Area Wastewater District
6. Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
MEASURING CONTAMINANTS IN THE WATERS, SEDIMENTS AND ORGANISMS OF MONTEREY BAY
CCLEAN (Central Coast Long-term Environmental Assessment Network) is a long-term regional monitoring program that has been designed with extensive stakeholder input to determine the status and trends of water and sediment quality in nearshore regions of Monterey Bay. The program is focusing on measuring sources, loads and consequences of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), nutrients and pathogen indicators into Monterey Bay. In 2004, measurement of POPs in sea otter tissues will be added to the program. Initial wastewater and river samples have shown that the total annual load of nitrogen from nitrate and urea in wastewater effluent was 63,675 kg and in the four major rivers was 590,700 kg. Mussel samples from all five sites distributed around the Bay have each exceeded at least one State Water Resources Control Board Maximum Tissue Residue Level for POPs and some samples exceeded concentrations of DDTs and chlordanes measured in San Francisco Bay. Sediment samples from eight sites along the 80-meter contour all have exceeded the NOAA Effects Range Low values for total DDTs and p,p'-DDE (i.e., similar concentrations have been associated with toxicity in >10% of sediment toxicity tests), and stepwise regressions have shown that POPs may be affecting benthic invertebrates
Harvey, James T. (1), Hannah M. Nevins (1), Scott Hatch (2), Josh Adams (1), Jim Hill (3), Jack Ames (3), Jennifer Parkin (4), Kelly Newton (3), and Todd Hass (3)
1. Beach COMBERS, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2.Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK
3. Department of Fish and Game—Marine Wildlife Veterinarian Care and Research Center, Santa Cruz, CA
4. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
MORTALITY OF NORTHERN FULMAR (FULMARIS GLACIALIS) IN CALIFORNIA DURING OCTOBER 2003
During October 2003, an unusual mortality of Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) occurred in central California. In Monterey Bay, we recorded high deposition of dead fulmars on beaches (mean = 12.8 ± 3.2 SE birds km-2, range = 0.3—25, n = 10 beaches), and observed high densities of live fulmars at sea (mean = 14.0 ± 4.7 SE birds km-2, range = 2.4— 40.1). We conducted post-mortem examinations of 186 fulmars to determine age, colony of origin, and probable cause of death. Necropsies indicated 96% of birds examined were hatch year and 4% were after hatch year based on molt and bursa. The proportion of color morphs, 92% dark and 8% light, suggest birds originated from colonies in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Bill measurements were similar to those of the Semidi Islands, AK. Concurrent studies of satellite-tagged fulmars showed movement of fulmars from the Semidi Islands to central California. Fulmars were in poor body condition as evidenced by reduced body mass (male, mean = 453 ± 60 g, n = 32; female, mean = 383 ± 42 g, n = 41), atrophied muscles and livers, and no subcutaneous fat reserves. Stomachs were virtually empty, containing few squid beaks and plastic fragments. Starvation may be the main cause of death; young birds may have been disproportionately affected because they did not have energy reserves to buffer against food limitations. Persistent storms in the GOA may have contributed to this starvation event, either by preventing foraging or reducing prey availability during their southerly migration.
Haskins, John C. (1) and Sue Shaw (2)
1. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Watsonville, CA
2. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
WATER QUALITY MONITORING IN ELKHORN SLOUGH: A SUMMARY OF RESULTS 1988-2002
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR) and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation have been supporting a volunteer water monitoring program since 1988. This program represents a partnership among ESNERR, ESF, Monterey County Water Resources Agency, and highly dedicated volunteers. Samples were collected monthly from 1988-2002 and analyzed for (dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, turbidity, temperature and dissolved inorganic phosphate, nitrate and ammonia) at 24 sites through out the Elkhorn Slough watershed and Salinas River. Analysis revealed striking differences between sites and seasons but few significant long term changes over time. Salinity measurements at freshwater sites indicate that there is leaking at most tide gates. Overall nitrate is showing a trend of increased concentrations during the summer dry months with increased irrigation on fields. These trends are most clear in the Salinas River sites and the Salinas River channel. During three years in the early 1990's nitrate values reached 4.4 mM during these summer months. During 2000-2001 summers summer concentrations have been up to 2.3 mM where winter rain events concentrations are below 500 uM.
Henkel, Laird A.
H.T. Harvey & Associates, Watsonville, CA
Moss Landing Marine Labs, Moss Landing, CA
SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL SEGREGATION OF MARINE BIRDS AND MAMMALS IN NEARSHORE WATERS OF MONTEREY BAY, CALIFORNIA
I used data from 34 at-sea surveys in nearshore waters of Monterey Bay to test for association and segregation of 20 taxa of marine birds and mammals. The same transect was surveyed throughout all months over a two year period. I tested for correlation between abundance of paired taxa in space (the same 1-km by 100-m section of transect) and time (34 surveys), using a bootstrap randomization to determine probability values of simple correlation coefficients. I expected that competition would lead to segregation of different taxa within foraging guilds in space or time, but not among taxa in different guilds. I found that within surface feeding, plunge-diving, and benthic feeding guilds, associations were positive rather than negative. Within the pursuit-diving guild I did find negative associations, indicating segregation. Overall, most negative associations were between taxa with different feeding strategies and different seasonal patterns of occurrence, and most positive associations were between taxa which peaked in occurrence in late summer and fall, concurrent with abundant prey in the study area. In nearshore Monterey Bay, competition may lead to spatial and temporal segregation among pursuit-divers, but taxa in other guilds often co-occur. For these other taxa, prey may not be a limiting factor, or these marine birds and mammals may benefit from commensal foraging.
§Hulme, Samuel M. (1), C.G. Wheat (2), J. Plant (3), H. Jannasch (3), H. Gary Greene (1)
1. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
2. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK
3 Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA
THE USE OF PORE WATER CHEMISTRY TO CONSTRAIN FLUID SOURCES OF COLD SEEPS WITHIN MONTEREY BAY, CA
Canyon contains numerous cold fluid seepage sites distributed throughout
the canyon system. The cold seeps are deep sea oases for chemosynthetic
organisms whose unique life histories are subjects of interest for paleontologists,
geneticists, geologists, an many others. Efforts are ongoing to isolate
fluid sources and flow mechanisms for the Monterey Bay seeps. Chemical
profiles of pore fluids from five seep sites, all situated within the
San Gregorio and Monterey Bay fault zones along the northern walls and
shelf of Monterey Canyon, were used to examine possible fluid sources
and mechanisms of fluid expulsion. Pore water samples were obtained using
diffusion probes or "peepers". The samples were analyzed for
ionic concentrations of 14 chemical constituents. The chemical concetrations
within seep fluids differed from the surrounding sediment pore fluids
for 12 of the 14 chemicals profiled. High levels of strontium ions, as
well as Ca/Mg ratios, at Tubeworm City and Extravert Cliff suggest fluid
contact with the underlying Salinian Block. Clamfield pore fluids within
seeps contained levels of Ca, Li and Sr that indicate predominately fluid-sediment
interactions. Clam Flats pore fluids contained the highest levels of sulfide
(14.5 mmol/kg), but all other chemical concentrations indicate a shallow
fluid source. Flow rates for each site were calculated from the ionic
concentration curves of chloride and magnesium in pore waters. Clam Flats
exhibited the lowest amount of flow (1.6-4.0 cm/year). Flow rates calculated
for Extravert Cliff were the highest at more than 100 cm/year.
Jones, Nathan M. (1), Martin A. Murphy (1), Michael W. Parker (2), Harry R. Carter (1), Richard T. Golightly (1), Gerard J. McChesney (2)
1. Humboldt State University, Department of Wildlife
2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS OF BRANDT'S CORMORANTS AT THREE NEARSHORE COLONIES IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA 1997-2001
As a component of research and restoration efforts focusing on Common Murre (Uria aalge) populations, Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) breeding success was monitored for five years (1997-2001) at three locations along the mainland of central California: Point Reyes Headlands (PRH), Devil's Slide Rock and Mainland (DSR), and the Castle Hurricane Colony Complex (CHCC). Productivity varied widely between colonies and years, but on average was highest at PRH and lowest at CHCC, similar to patterns in murre productivity. The most dramatic differences were recorded during the El Niño year of 1998. The timing of breeding followed a latitudinal trend; cormorants in the most northerly colony (PRH) at latitude 37°59'69"N layed latest in all years, and those in the most southerly colony (CHCC) at latitude 36°22'49"N layed earliest in all years but 1998. At CHCC and PRH the locations of groups of breeding cormorants varied from year to year at each colony. Differences in reproductive success were detected when subcolonies were compared within colony complexes. Such variation suggests a need for broad scale monitoring efforts when attempting to assess Brandt's Cormorant population parameters.
Pacific Cetacean Group, Moss Landing, CA
RISE AND FALL OF SOUTHERN SEA OTTERS (ENHYDRA LUTRIS NEREIS) IN ELKHORN SLOUGH, CALIFORNIA, 1994-2003
From 1994 to 2003, PCG researchers conducting boat surveys in Elkhorn Slough approximately twice per month (n=304) documented dramatic changes in sea otter numbers, distribution and prey. In 1994, mean number of otters per survey was 4.2 individuals (±3.10 SD, n=35). Numbers generally increased in succeeding years to a maximum mean in 1998 of 51.9 otters (±9.23, n=39) per survey. On 24 February 2000, a maximum single survey count of 81 otters was recorded; the mean for 2000 was 49.0 (±11.45, n=34), comparable to 1998 and 1999 counts. In 2001, the mean otter count decreased dramatically to 28.5 (±15.23, n=26), beginning with a sharp decline in July (26.5±3.54, n=2) and continuing to drop at each successive survey to a mean of only 5.5 otters (±0.71, n=2) in December. Mean counts have continued to remain low in 2002 (11.3±4.03, n=41) and 2003 (4.8±1.31, n=33). Sea otters foraged mainly on Washington clams, followed in decreasing order of occurrence by gaper clams, innkeeper worms, and crabs. From 1998 to 2001, combined clam size shifted from medium-sized individuals to large prey. The number of innkeeper worms consumed increased significantly in 2000; the number of crabs increased significantly in 2001. Since October 2001, we have documented several otters in Monterey Bay feeding on Dungeness crab. Interestingly, aerial surveys conducted by CDFG in Monterey Bay during the spring of 2002 and 2003 documented an increase in otters offshore of Moss Landing, which correlates well with their apparent movement out of the slough beginning fall 2001. PCG is continuing this long-term monitoring program to better understand the critical factors influencing sea otter use of the Elkhorn Slough.
Kogan, Irina (1,2), Charles K. Paull (1), Linda Kuhnz (1), Susan von Thun (1), Erica Burton (2), H. Gary Greene (1), and James P. Barry (1)
1. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA
2. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF A SUBMARINE CABLE: CASE STUDY OF THE ATOC/ PIONEER SEAMOUNT CABLE
To better understand the potential impacts of cables on the seabed, a study of the environmental impacts of the ATOC/Pioneer Seamount cable was conducted. The condition of the cable, its effect on the seafloor, and its effect on benthic megafauna and infauna were determined. The 95 km long cable extends between Pioneer Seamount and Half Moon Bay, California. Most of the cable has become buried in continental shelf sediment substrates whereas much of the cable remains exposed in deeper depths. The cable is also exposed in nearshore rocky environments and on Pioneer Seamount. Evidence of cable and rock abrasion was seen in the nearshore rocky region. Neither the rocks nor the cable appeared damaged on Pioneer Seamount. Several sharp kinks in the cable were seen in an area subjected to intense trawling activity. The main biological features associated with the cable were organisms utilizing it as substrate and occasionally as shelter. Few differences were found between cable and control sites at the 95% confidence level. The cable may have a subtle local hydrodynamic effect. Coarse extrapolation of the transect data suggest that ~500,000 organisms may live on or near the cable.
*Lanctot, Michele and Sarah Wood
San Lorenzo Valley High School Watershed Academy, CA
A STUDY OF THE INTERTIDAL SPECIES AT DAVENPORT LANDING STATE BEACH
The area of study is the intertidal zone of Davenport Landing State Beach, which is located North of Monterey Bay. The intertidal area is a mussel bed on the East end of the beach that consists of four zones. Within these four zones lives a variety of plant and animal species. We count 27 different animal and plant species that lie in four randomly placed 1m2 quadrants along a 15x3 m permanent transect. Currently we haven't collected enough data to formulate an investigative question. However, we are considering a few different ones. For example: Is the diversity of species affected by the size of the individual populations? The data we have collected since June 2003 will be added to the Seymour Intertidal Monitoring Program that Dr. Pearse began in 1976. Hopefully the accumulation of data will lead to a new discovery about the intertidal zone.
Meyer, Marnie (1) and Jessica Moye (2)
1. National Marine Protected Areas Center Science Institute, Monterey, CA
2. California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA
NAVIGATING THE NATION'S MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
In order to promote awareness of the nation's marine protected areas (MPAs) within the maritime community, NOAA's National Marine Protected Areas Center (NMPAC/OCRM/NOS) and NOAA's Office of Coast Survey (OCS/NOS) have jointly produced "Navigating the Nation's Marine Protected Areas", a project incorporating key information about existing MPAs into the OCS Coast Pilot and other navigational products. The maritime community relies heavily on the Coast Pilot and NOAA navigational charts to educate themselves on coastal issues relating to safe navigation, access to marine businesses and environmental regulations. Information inserted into these publications regarding existing MPAs will assist mariners and other users in understanding the location, purpose, jurisdictions and allowed activities within these areas. Understanding of these facts will increase protection for our nation's MPAs, as well as reduce unnecessary enforcement activities created by a lack of information available to the mariner.
*Milne, Carynn and Lea Bond
San Lorenzo Valley High School Watershed Academy
University of California, Santa Cruz Department of Marine Biology
California Department of Health Services' Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Program
IS SANTA CRUZ HARBOR SAFE?
The objective of this project is to observe the populations of phytoplankton in the Santa Cruz harbor, and the influences that temperature, salinity, and turbidity have upon the populations. The three species looked at in detail are Pseudo-nitzschia spp., Alexandrium catenella, and Dinophysis. These toxic species can produce dangerous levels of neurotoxins when in large concentrations (i.e. algae blooms), causing shellfish poisoning and marine life casualties. This project was started September of 2002 - June 2003 and was continued September of 2003 - June 2004. Our results currently show that this danger has not increased in the Santa Cruz harbor area because of such abiotic factors but that dinophysis and psuedo-nitzschia in particular, bloom, not perpetually but periodically. Alexandrium, up until currently, has never been found.
Monsen, Katie L., Rosa S. Schneider, and Carol Shenna
Environmental Studies, University of California Santa Cruz, CA
REDUCING NON-POINT SOURCE NITROGEN POLLUTION AT ITS ORIGIN: USING BUDGETS TO ESTIMATE N INPUT AND OUTPUT IN ORGANIC VEGETABLE SYSTEMS
Non-point source water pollution by nitrogen is a major problem in the US and has been linked with agricultural activity, including on California's Central Coast. Organic agriculture is often seen as a way to prevent the environmental impacts attributed to conventional agriculture, yet the extent to which it can decrease non-point source pollution is unclear. Organic agroecosystems rely on the input of N through organic sources (e.g., compost, cover crops, and crop residue). For many organic vegetable systems in this region, fall harvest and incorporation of cash crop residue is followed by the planting of a winter cover crop. Following the fall incorporation of crop residue and spring incorporation of cover crops, soil temperatures are warm enough for microbial communities to mineralize organically-bound N, ultimately producing nitrate. This could lead to an accumulation of highly soluble NO3 in the soil, which then may be leached below the root zone (and thus lost to groundwater) during seasonal rains if the following crop or cover crop seedlings are too immature to immobilize it. These periods of potential NO3 leaching may contribute to non-point source pollution. We present preliminary estimates of nitrate leaching and our first steps in developing nitrogen budgets to help organic growers manage nutrients.
Neumann, Kriss (1), Gary W. Page (1), Sarah Connors (1) and Laird Henkel (2)
1. PRBO Conservation Science, Stinson Beach, CA
2. H.T. Harvey and Associates, Watsonville, CA
EFFECTS OF SANDY BEACH CHARACTERISTICS ON SHOREBIRDS
The ecology of shorebirds in intertidal wetlands has been a subject of thorough investigation but aspects of the occurrence of shorebirds in sandy beach habitats has received little attention. We studied the abundance and distribution of shorebirds on 45 km of sandy beaches in Monterey Bay on the central California coast from November 2002 to May 2003. We measured characteristics of 45 1-km segments of beach to examine the influence of these factors on shorebirds. Beach charactersitics included swash zone slope and width, width of upper beach, distance to Elkhorn Slough, an area of tidal marsh and mudflats, presence or absence of beach wrack, and level of human activity. Density (per linear km) of the seven most abundant shorebird species generally was equivalent to or greater than densities reported on other California beaches. Responses to beach characteristics varied among species and these differences were associated with different foraging and roosting strategies. Identification of regionally important beaches will assist conservation managers in setting habitat protection and management priorities.
Pederson, Josh, Chad King and Sarah Smith
Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA
THE SIMoN WEBSITE AS A TOOL FOR SHARING MONITORING INFORMATION OVER THE INTERNET
SIMoN, the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network, is a comprehensive, long-term program designed to promote better understanding and protection of the Sanctuary and its resources. By gathering data on the historical and on-going monitoring efforts of over 40 research institutions operating within the MBNMS, SIMoN is able to provide important information to researchers, managers and the public. The internet is the primary medium SIMoN uses to disseminate this monitoring information. For each of the major habitats and issues in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary the SIMoN website shares overview information, maps and graphs, details on current and historic monitoring projects, educational materials, and links to other relevant websites. Coupled with an internet mapping application that allows users to create maps using MBNMS GIS data layers, the SIMoN website is an innovative new approach to sharing monitoring-based information with a wide audience. SIMoN is a collaborative effort, managed by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in cooperation with the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
1. Campolindo High School, Moraga, CA
2. Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA
MUSK TOXICITY AND INHIBITION OF MULTI-DRUG TRANSPORTER PUMPS IN EARLY SEA URCHIN DEVELOPMENT
Synthetic fragrances are a new class of emerging pollutants which may have negative affects on the environment. We find that exposure to synthetic musks negatively affects the development of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. To explore the effects of musks on sea urchin development, three musks were chosen: galaxolide, musk xylene, and musk ketone. We measured musk toxicity by counting embryo survivorship after a 24-hour exposure to various concentrations of these musks and concluded that all three musks are toxic at concentrations above 2_M. We hypothesized that musk toxicity may be due to inhibition of multi-drug transporter pumps, and to test this hypothesis we co-exposed embryos to musks and etoposide, a topoisomerase II inhibitor and known pump substrate. We discovered that when exposed to non-toxic levels of musks and etoposide, fewer embryos survived when both chemicals were added. This may suggest that musks allow etoposide access to the embryo through competitive inhibition of the pumps. However, it is still unclear whether this reduced survival rate is due to the musks' inhibiting the embryos from pumping out the etoposide or to the combination of acute toxic effects exhibited by these two chemicals.
*Shreve, Stephanie, Brian Callahan, and James Speer
San Lorenzo Valley High School Watershed Academy, CA
A STUDY OF WATER QUALITY IN ASHLEY CREEK AND AN ARTIFICIAL WETLAND
San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District is installing an artificial wetland at the high school to lower the amount of nitrates in the wastewater from a failing septic system. This project monitors the water quality of the reservoir above the dam on Ashley Creek to establish baseline data. Once the artificial wetland is completed this spring, water quality will be monitored before and after it has been filtered in the artificial wetland and compared to baseline data. The project monitors pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrate and temperature in the water as it proceeds through the system. Our hypothesis is that the levels of dissolved oxygen and nitrates in the water as it comes out of the artificial wetland will be lower than when the water went in. The temperature of the water will be higher than before the water entered the artificial wetland and the pH will be more acidic due to decomposition.
Starr, Rick (1), Dave Osorio (2), Mark Carr (3), Tom Wadsworth (4), Giovanni Nevoloso (5), and Sal Pitruzello (6)
1. University of California Sea Grant Extension Program
2. California Department of Fish and Game
3. University of California Santa Cruz
4. Moss Landing Marine Labs
5. F/V Gabbiano
6. F/V Dolphin II
COMPARISON OF CPUE AND VISUAL SURVEYS OF NEARSHORE FISHES: COLLABORATION BETWEEN FISHERMEN, CDFG, AND UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS
Typically, fishery managers use fishery-dependent data and/or fishery-independent surveys to estimate population sizes of marine species. We developed a collaborative project to investigate relationships between catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) of typical nearshore commercial fishing operations and estimates of fish density derived from scuba surveys. We conducted standardized fishing and diving operations in Carmel Bay for 16 days, using two commercial fishing vessels and one university vessel. Fishing and diving operations occurred in four different nearshore locations using different gear types (rod and reel, hand lines, traps, and sticks), and uniform scuba survey techniques. During fishing operations, we collected information about lengths, sexes (when possible), and CPUE (by each gear type) for each species caught. All fish caught during this project were released at location of catch. During diving operations, we obtained species composition, estimates of size composition, and relative abundance of fishes using protocols developed by CDFG and university researchers. Because both types of surveys provided similar kinds of information, such as species composition, relative abundance, and size distribution, we were able to compare the different sampling methods. Information obtained in this study will be used by fishery managers to improve estimates of population abundance of nearshore fishes
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
SEDIMENTARY PIGMENTS IN ELKHORN SLOUGH, CA: HISTORICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF PHYTOPLANKTON COMMUNITIES
Pigments deposited in sediments have been used to describe historical phytoplankton communities in many environments. This study examines sedimentary pigments (chlorophylls and carotenoids) in Elkhorn Slough, CA to see 1) whether surface sediments represent the current phytoplankton community and 2) if historical phytoplankton patterns can be deduced from subsurface sediments. To address how accurately sedimentary pigments reflect the water column, surface sediment cores were taken concurrently with water and sediment trap samples. Near Kirby Park recreation area, deeper cores were taken and vertically sectioned to examine historical populations. Chlorophylls and carotenoids were identified using HPLC. Carotenoids of the dominant phytoplankton taxa (diatoms, cryptophytes, and dinoflagellates) were well represented in both water column samples and surface sediment samples. Herbivore derived degradation products, pheophorbide a and pyro-pheophorbide a, were more common than chlorophyll a in the sediments indicating that most sedimentary pigments were the result of fecal deposition. Down core trends indicated that historically diatoms were a minor component, being only present in the bioturbated surface layers of the sediments, however cryptophytes, along with cyanobacteria, were present throughout the 36cm core.
California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA
QUANTIFYINGSEDIMENT TRANSPORT: THE KEY TO REGULATING DEVELOPMENT IN COASTAL CALIFORNIA WATERSHEDS
Historically, activities such as logging, road construction, urban development, livestock grazing and recreation have reduced the quality of Steelhead trout habitat by changing stream bank and channel morphology, changing water temperature, degrading water quality, and blocking access to spawning areas. The relationship between Steelhead trout and the stream is based on an adequate supply of water and the correct size and amount of sediment needed for breeding. Garrapata watershed, a steelhead trout habitat, has recently undergone changes in land use. The northern side of the watershed, where the smaller Joshua Creek is located, is being exposed to construction activities, while the southern side, where the larger Garrapata Creek is located, has had no changes to it. This capstone will answer the question: Is the amount of sediment Joshua and Garrapata Creeks carry proportional to water discharge? If the land-use change has an effect on stream quality it should show up in a paired watershed study of the two streams. Sediment rating curves and other equations were formed with the raw data collected at the sites. Using the rating curves and associated equations, total sediment and water volume for each creek for the year was calculated. Total sediment discharge for Joshua Creek was 3810 kg/yr, while discharge of water was 4.67*10^5 m3/year. Total sediment discharge of Garrapata Creek was 480 kg/yr, while discharge of water was 2.65*10^6 m3/year. This result is significant in that these two creeks should have similar models because they are in adjacent sub-watersheds with similar geology and topography. The construction activities may be the source of more sediment than the creek can move, which has forced Joshua Creek to aggrade.
§Wagner, Gala and Nick Welschmeyer
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA
EFFECTS OF ENTRAINMENT AND THERMAL INCREASE ON BACTERIA AND PHYTOPLANKTON IN THE MOSS LANDING POWER PLANT: WHAT BLOOMS IN THE PLUME?
Seawater from Moss Landing Harbor is pumped through Moss Landing Power Plant for cooling purposes (1.2 billion gallons/day); the heated seawater is discharged into Monterey Bay. To evaluate potential effects on plankton, samples were collected along the cooling flow path from the intake source, through the power plant, to the final discharge site in Monterey Bay. Maximum temperatures (ca. 240C) were measured in the surge chamber where water collects in the power plant before being discharged into the Bay. Surface water directly over the Monterey Bay discharge site was ca. 6.70C warmer than ambient Bay water. Bacterial abundance (DAPI staining) was similar at all sampling sites. However, bacterial growth activity (culture plating and frequency of dividing cells) was significantly higher (3x) for surge chamber samples. Phytoplankton biomass, estimated from algal pigments, was variable along the sampling track, with lowest concentrations generally found in the surge chamber. Phytoplankton physiological state (fluorescence-based photochemical yield) was lowest in the surge chamber, reflecting values similar to heat-stressed laboratory samples. Phytoplankton pigment degradation products were also highest at the surge chamber site. The results suggest differential effects of entrainment on plankton: bacterial growth is augmented after thermal entrainment, but phytoplankton are negatively impacted.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA OCEAN OBSERVING SYSTEM (CenCOOS)
The Central California Ocean Observing System (CenCOOS) is a new initiative and part of the national ocean observing system, the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The CenCOOS is a synergistic collaboration of approximately 30 marine research institutions, ranging geographically along the coast from California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo to Humboldt State University in Arcata. Its goals include: a) enhanced utility of ocean observing activities for resource managers, policy makers, researchers, and educators; b) increased efficiencies of existing research projects and data collection; and c) more integrated approaches to environmental monitoring. The CenCOOS has established a Steering Committee with representatives from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, University of California Santa Cruz, California Polytechnic State University, and San Francisco State University. With NOAA funding, the Steering Committee has recently hired a full-time coordinator to identify the appropriate governance structure for the system, analyze how to best integrate the component research activities, meet with stakeholders, recommend options for connecting with other contiguous regional observing systems, and develop a business plan. CenCOOS has also begun the process of establishing specific committees to address issues such as science, data management, and outreach and education.
1. Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
2. Bay Foundation of Morro Bay
WATER QUALITY IN THE WATERSHEDS AND NEARSHORE AREAS OF MONTEREY BAY: FINDINGS OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMBIENT MONITORING PROGRAM
The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is responsible for maintaining and enhancing water quality throughout the Central Coast Region, which includes much of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and its watersheds. In 1998 we initiated the Central Coast Ambient Monitoring Program (CCAMP). CCAMP watershed monitoring is conducted for a broad range of parameters, on a five-year rotational basis using a tributary-based design. We collect conventional water quality on a monthly basis, and benthic invertebrate assemblages, toxicity, and sediment and tissue chemistry annually. In addition, thirty river mouths throughout the Region are monitored on an ongoing basis as part of our Coastal Confluences program. General findings include very high concentrations of nutrients, elevated levels of pesticides, and toxicity at various locations. A Biostimulatory Index has been developed to help understand nutrient risk throughout the Region. Data collected through CCAMP has resulted in additions to the 303(d) list of impaired waterbodies, and has been used in development of a study design for the proposed Agricultural Waiver Program. CCAMP is collaborating with the Department of Fish and Game, U.C. Davis, U.C Santa Barbara and others on several studies involving sea otters and disease, sand crab tissue bioaccumulation, and other water quality issues.