Advancing OAH science off northern California: a critical expansion of monitoring and research to quantify OAH exposure, assess ecosystem impacts, and support model development

Project Number
Project Date Range
Funding Agency
California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Focus Area(s)
Education, Training and Public Information, Healthy Coastal Ecosystems, Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

This project aims to fill a critical gap in ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH) and ecosystem monitoring off California’s North Coast and to address needs for information on OAH and related environmental and ecosystem stressors. he project builds on and connects three existing observation programs—monthly ship-based surveys along the Trinidad Head Line (THL), the CeNCOOS shore station at Trinidad Wharf (and complementary sensors in Humboldt Bay), and a glider line that extends to 300 nautical miles offshore—by establishing the Trinidad Head Ocean Observing Node (THOON) at a mid-shelf station and by enhancing ship-based survey coverage of State waters.

In collecting this data, the project will increase understanding of the origins, timing, duration, and intensity of OAH exposures (and related biological stressors, especially harmful algal blooms) affecting ecosystems and natural resources in coastal waters north of Cape Mendocino, including those of Humboldt Bay. In addition, this project will assess potential OAH exposure risks for krill, larval fish, larval crabs, and other zooplankton; connections between OAH and phytoplankton blooms, including harmful algal blooms; connections between OAH and eDNA-based measures of marine biodiversity; and direct OAH impacts on sensitive species. Moreover, this project will build on these data sets to develop real-time statistical forecasts of OAH exposure affecting shelf and nearshore ecosystems, while developing, curating, and delivering rigorous data sets to support the development, testing, and application of coupled physical-biogeochemical models as decision-support tools for northern California.

Principal Investigators
Eric Bjorkstedt
Cal Poly Humboldt
Jeffrey Abell
Cal Poly Humboldt
Co-principal Investigators
Tamara Barriquand
Cal Poly Humboldt
Alex Harper
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

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