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A Summary of Rocky Shore Monitoring Projects in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

DeVogelaere, A., M. Jacobi, R. Walder, and M. Foster (June 1999)

Final Report to the California Urban Environmental Research and Education Center, No. 51-33-017-009. 88pp.


The mission of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Program is to identify, designate and manage marine areas of special national significance. To achieve the mission, research goals include promoting and coordinating scientific research on, and monitoring of MBNMS resources to assist in their protection and management for sustainable, multiple use. While the MBNMS is a federal program, local oversight of the program is achieved through bi-monthly public meetings of a 20 member Sanctuary Advisory Council, including representatives from regional interest groups (e.g., agriculture, business, tourism, fishing, conservation, research, education). The MBNMS complements the goals of CUEREC: promoting a system approach to environmental policy development and implementation; building an environmentally compatible economy by balancing socio-economic concerns with responsible stewardship of natural resources; coordinating environmental research with California universities; focusing on interfaces between business, society, government and the environment. In particular, the MBNMS benefits greatly by strong links with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories to manage rocky shore natural resources.

The MBNMS encompasses 220 kilometers of rocky coastline between San Francisco and Cambria (Research Planning Inc. 1994). Important management issues related to this habitat include understanding natural variation in the system, preparing for natural resource damage assessment after small ship groundings and large oil spills, and impacts from human trampling and collecting (DeVogelaere 1996). The MBNMS Scientific Research Plan, written by representatives from 15 research institutions around Monterey Bay, indicates that monitoring the rocky shore habitat is a necessary component. of managing the resource (MBNMS Research Advisory Committee 1993). The North-East Pacific shoreline has received extensive attention by rocky shore ecologists (see reviews by Ricketts et al. 1985; Foster et al. 1988, 1991) and some regional monitoring efforts have detected interesting regional results; however, the project data sets were collected for a variety of purposes by many different investigators and consulting groups; moreover, information is scattered throughout various institutions. By compiling this information, MBNMS will have resource management data readily accessible and be able to develop a comprehensive monitoring plan based on existing data sets, relevant ongoing work, and gaps in information that must be addressed.

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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