Physical drivers of nearshore hypoxia in an understudied central California location

Start/End: February, 2017 to January, 2018

The California Current Large Marine Ecosystem is listed as a “hotspot” for ecological risk due to upwelling-driven hypoxia, and it is also particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification because of this strong upwelling. More comprehensive monitoring programs are needed that expand the understanding of spatial and temporal patterns in hypoxia and ocean acidification, particularly in shallow coastal regions. The primary objective of this research is to examine physical drivers of nearshore variability and hypoxia in an understudied location on the central California coast. This research will result in novel data and a unique look into the role of various physical processes such as wind-driven upwelling and internal waves on nearshore hypoxia. Results from this project will be shared with the local community at the biannual Cal Poly Pier Open House, as well as regional stakeholders and scientists such as the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel.