Assessment of rocky intertidal habitats for the California marine protected area monitoring program

Start/End: May, 2019 to November, 2021

California’s rocky intertidal habitats are rare, covering around five square miles statewide, but highly important to the state in terms of biodiversity, and recreational, cultural and economic value. However, rocky intertidal habitats are also seriously threatened by a variety of local and regional anthropogenic disturbances, including overexploitation, disease, pollution, habitat destruction, and invasive species; they are also particularly susceptible to climate related impacts. Because of these concerns, rocky intertidal habitats were targeted for protection in the Marine Life Protection Act Master Plan and are listed as a priority for monitoring in the Action Plan.

This project will aggregate historical biological and environmental data dating back 20-30 years from a variety of sources, and collect additional data through surveys inside and outside MPAs using standardized protocols that have been used to monitor these habitats since the 1980’s.

The data collected through this project will allow for analyses of population, community, and species distribution changes, and other potential network-level effects. The project will also develop web-based data visualization tools for use by researchers, resource managers, and the general public.

Co-principal Investigators