California Sea Grant provides a variety of information, fact sheets, and frequently asked questions on coastal topics. Check out the resources below created or curated by our communications and extension teams.
- Coastal Hazards, Resilience, and Safety
California’s iconic coastline and communities contribute significantly to the state’s economy, robust ecological resources, and culture. However, these landscapes and the communities that depend on them also face a growing list of challenges impacting their health and resilience.
Explore this website to learn about plants that build dunes, fish that run onto land, and crabs that move incredible distances migrating with the tide. Discover the dynamic process of sand movement and the impacts of beach grooming, coastal armoring , and nourishment on beaches and beach ecosystems. And learn how climate change is affecting beaches, and what you can do to help.
Nationally, lifeguards rescue approximately 60,000 people from drowning a year, and an estimated 80% of these near-drownings are caused by rip currents. To learn more, read our three myths about rip currents.
The term king tide is generally used to describe the highest tides of the year. Learn more about what causes these extreme tides, when they're happening, and what they can teach us about climate change impacts.
What's a red tide, where do they happen, and how can you find out more about a current red tide event?
Here in California, we share our coastline with a number of marine mammals. Learn more about how to safely and appropriately view the wildlife, and what to do if you encounter an animal in distress.
The protocols and educational curriculum are aimed at community science and school groups looking to contribute to our understanding of the sources of litter, and the curriculum teaches about the problems, effects, and solutions related to trash, including building a science identity to inform and empower young people to take action.
- Safe and Sustainable Seafood
What is aquaculture? What is grown and where is it practiced?
Did you know that there are approximately 70 species landed in California throughout the year? Yet many of these locally caught species are unknown to most Californians. This site provides information on the biology, fishery, nutrition, and culinary uses of species landed or farmed in California to help consumers make informed seafood choices.
This website provides information about key features of California's commercial fisheries statewide and by region.
Fishermen's markets are the place to go to meet your local fishermen and their families, and buy their fresh, responsibly-caught seafood. Most markets may close earlier than their stated closing time if goods sell out, so get there early and bring your cooler.
Read our FAQ: Harmful algal blooms and wild-caught seafood in California to learn all you need to know about safe handling and eating of wild-caught seafood in California. Or check out our HAB infographics for a more a quick and visual guide. For information on the 2015-16 closure of the California Dungeness crab fishery, see Frequently Asked Questions: Domoic Acid in California Crabs.
Seafood alternative marketing expands the options available to fishermen for selling their catch and can provide economic and social benefits to fishing communities. Learn more and find out if it might be for you!
Why do people harvest local seafood despite known health risks?
Find a variety of resources and links on aquaculture in California, including information on aquaculture management and techniques, regulatory information, and fish stocking.
Oral histories from California fishermen document local knowledge and information that might otherwise be unheard and eventually lost.
- California Ecosystems and Species
Much of California's iconic kelp forests have been lost due to the "perfect storm" of factors. California Sea Grant funded researchers are working to understand why and how to best restore these important habitats.
Several marine heatwave events have taken place since 2014 off the coast of California. What is a marine heatwave? What drives these warming events? How do they impact marine life in the region? Learn more here.
What is a drought, what causes them, and what are their effects on California? Explore this FAQ to learn more about what’s causing droughts and their impacts on California’s coastal regions.
Learn how California Sea Grant is helping bring back endangered coho salmon in Sonoma County. If you like to go fishing, learn how to tell the difference between endangered coho and other species, to avoid heavy fines.
Non-native species can wreak havoc in lakes, rivers, and the ocean. Help protect kelp beds and reefs from invasive seaweeds, or check out our manual for lake managers on early detection monitoring for quagga mussels and rapid response to suspected invasions.
California is home to a unique network of 124 marine protected areas (MPAs), created to protect our valuable ocean resources. This network was established through a science-based, stakeholder-driven process and represents one of the most advanced marine protection management systems in the world. California Sea Grant works with California state agencies to provide science-based information to help manage these important regions. Learn about MPA research and monitoring, find reports and data, and explore MPA outreach resources.
Estuaries, one primary example of a coastal wetland, are transition zones between the land and sea where saltwater from the ocean mixes with freshwater from upland rivers, streams, hillsides and canyon runoff.
This web guide highlights most common species found in Morro Bay. Scroll through the photos to learn more about the bay and what lives under its surface.
Learn more about these unique fish that come on land to spawn. Found only in California and Baja California, Mexico, where grunion go when not spawning on beaches is still a mystery.
Found only in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, the Delta Smelt is a silvery blue fish that is critically endangered. Learn more about the Delta Smelt and California Sea Grant's role in Delta Smelt research.