Ocean Protection Council Awards $6 million to research projects that advance ocean and coastal management in California

Katherine Leitzell

At its October 25, 2018 meeting, the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) unanimously approved 24 research projects totaling $6 million in funding through the Proposition 84 Competitive Grants Program. The projects support state priorities focused on stewardship and management of California’s ocean and coastal resources in the areas of: ocean acidification and hypoxia; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; sea-level rise adaptation and coastal resilience; coastal sediment management; marine pollution; and marine renewable energy.

The research projects were selected through a competitive process based on criteria developed by OPC in alignment with its mission and priorities. California Sea Grant and the University of Southern California Sea Grant facilitated the review panel process and will administer project grants on behalf of OPC.

Communities and economies throughout California depend on a healthy ocean and coast. Using the best available science to inform management decisions is critical to preserve ecosystems and livelihoods. Results from these projects will enable resource managers, decisionmakers, and the general public to develop and implement science-based strategies to increase environmental and economic sustainability in the face of a changing climate.

California Sea Grant is administering 12 of the 24 projects in the areas of ocean acidification and hypoxia, and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. University of Southern California Sea Grant is administering the remaining 12 projects in the areas of sea-level rise adaptation and coastal resilience, coastal sediment management, marine pollution, and marine renewable energy. Links to project descriptions are below.

Sea-level rise adaptation and coastal resilience

Coastal flooding projections and socioeconomic impacts due to sea-level rise and storms for the north coast using the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS)
Patrick Barnard, U.S. Geological Survey

Groundwater inundation hazards and socioeconomic impacts due to sea-level rise across the California coast
Patrick Barnard, U.S. Geological Survey

Tribal Intertidal Digital Ecological Surveys (TIDES) Project: Using large-area imaging to assess intertidal vulnerability to sea-level rise with coastal indigenous nations
Jennifer Smith, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego

Humboldt Coastal Resilience Project (HCRP): Analyzing beach-dune morphodynamics and vegetation controls on coastal resiliency to develop decision support tools and adaptation measures for sea-level rise and extreme events along the Eureka Littoral Cell, Northern California
Susan Corbaley, State Coastal Conservancy

Coastal sediment management

Statewide assessment of California cliff erosion and retreat
Adam Young, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego

Using green engineering techniques to restore coastal sand dunes at Border Field State Park, San Diego
Hany Elwany, Coastal Environments, Inc

Marine renewable energy

Wave energy conversion in California under the present and future Climate and economic feasibility analysis of different technologies (WE3C)
Borja Reguero, University of California, Santa Cruz

California offshore wind: Workforce and grid integration analysis
Robert Collier, University of California, Berkeley

Marine pollution

Linking terrestrial pollution to estuarine water quality: Quantification of the role of groundwater in the transport, transformation, and removal of agricultural pollutants in Elkhorn Slough
Margaret Zimmer, University of California, Santa Cruz

Multiple stressors and toxic Pseudo-nitzschia blooms in California waters: Understanding the complex interactive impacts of nutrients, temperature, and carbonate chemistry
David Hutchins, University of Southern California

Advancing portable detection capabilities of harmful algal bloom species in California waters
Holly Bowers, San Jose State University

Interaction between microplastics and pathogen pollutants in marine ecosystems: Implications for seafood safety
Karen Shapiro, University of California, Davis

Ocean acidification, hypoxia & other changes in ocean conditions from a changing climate

An ecophysiological framework to assess hypoxia driven habitat loss in the California Current Ecosystem
Curtis Deutsch, University of Washington

Benefits beyond biomass: Bio-physical feedbacks within Marine Protected Areas may promote ecosystem resilience in the face of global climate change
Adrian Stier, University of California, Santa Barbara

Present and future climatic drivers of domoic acid toxicity in coastal ecosystems of California
William Cochlan, San Francisco State University

Geography of stress: Impacts of ocean acidification along the California Coast
Tessa Hill, University of California, Davis

Understanding ocean warming impacts on shrinking body sizes of California fishes: Linking pattern & mechanism to support future sustainable fisheries
Lisa Komoroske, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Assessing the combined effects of ocean acidification and warming on disease susceptibility and restoration success of the critically endangered white abalone
Kristin Aquilino, University of California, Davis

Sustainable fisheries & aquaculture

Habitat characterization, fishery development and stock structure of swordfish off California
Chugey Sepulveda, Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research

A multi-faceted approach to enhance sustainability of the California spiny lobster fishery
Kevin Hovel, San Diego State University

Reconstructing the population dynamics of southern California Paralabrax species in the face of a changing ocean
Brice Semmens, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego

Improving management under the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) by accounting for effects of Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on fisheries
Louis Botsford, University of California, Davis

Sea feeds: Identification and culture of Californian marine macroalgae capable of reducing greenhouse gas production from ruminant livestock
Luke Gardner, California Sea Grant (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) and Moss Landing Marine Labs at San Jose State University

A DNA metabarcoding approach to monitoring fish spawning and population connectivity in Coastal Southern and Central California
Ronald Burton, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego