2023 Assessment of Rocky Intertidal habitats for the California Marine Protected Area Monitoring Program

Award Period
Award Amount
Agency Name
UC Santa Cruz
Award Number
PI First Name
PI Last Name
MSI People
Area/s of Research
Climate Change Science
Ecology and Evolution
Marine Conservation, Policy and Education

Here we present a brief scope of work for 2023 sampling of rocky intertidal sites for the California MPA monitoring program. A more detailed description is presented below the Scope of Work. This proposed project is meant to provide a continuation of the field sampling done in 2021-2022 under an award by OPC/SeaGrant. The goal is to continue the times series of data collection for future MPA assessments and also for assessment of other questions of  concern for the state of California. These include: the spatial and temporal patterns of community resilience, current and future impacts of climate change and provision of data to inform other management and restoration efforts (e.g. disease patterns and dynamics, spatial patterns of vulnerability for endangered species, restoration opportunities for species spatially in retreat due to anthropogenic perturbation). Indeed the joint MPA/MARINe set of sites sampled using identical methods comprise a comprehensive environmental sentinel program across the temperate west coast of North America.
Our effort will be comparable to what was done in 2022, which was budgeted at 75% of the original funding (2019 as a base period). Our original proposal for the 2019 award included sampling 44 MPA sites and a comparable number of reference sites along the coast of all three MPA regions in the state of California. These sites were selected to align most strongly with the defined MPA site selection criteria (e.g. mainly tier 1 sites, balancing geographic representation, length of time series, potential to inform network assessment). To do this we used two guiding principles. First, we reduced the number sites so as to best adhere to the core objective of being able to robustly assess the MPA network. Second, perhaps somewhat surprising, we retained full funding adequate to support our database efforts. This was done based on our long standing experience with MARINe (Multi Agency Rocky Intertidal Network), which taught us the hard way that inadequate database support compromised not only data dissemination but also rigorous and efficient data collection, which lead to financial and scientific costs.