West Coast Regional Marine Research and Information Needs

Sea Grant programs in Washington, Oregon and California have released the
West Coast Regional Marine Research and Information Needs Report.

The ocean and coastal environments along the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem provide critical services to more than 35 million people who live and work in coastal counties of the Western US, and support an ocean economy approaching $32 billion annually. A major challenge to resource managers and other decision makers in the region is the unmet need for ecosystem-level natural and social science research and information to provide a sound scientific basis for decisions about how best to understand, conserve and rationally use marine resources.
Southern California, California, Oregon, and Washington Sea Grant Programs have spent more than three years working in collaboration with state, federal and tribal agencies to assess the region's marine research and information needs. The efforts included dozens of stakeholder meetings up and down the coast, along with public surveys and comments. More than 5,200 comments from nearly 1,000 stakeholders informed the report, and are available here sorted by topic and by community.

The culmination of this effort, the West Coast Regional Marine Research and Information Needs Report, identifies new and continued research and information needs that, if met, could aid the region in adopting an ecosystem-based approach to resource management. This report is intended to: 1) assist regional researchers and information providers to plan and prioritize; and 2) spark regional-scale initiatives and investments in natural and social science research that might provide the best possible science for wise policy and resource-management decisions.

The report organizes research and information needs into the three cross-cutting themes and eight research and information topics:

Cross-cutting Themes
    * Climate Change
    * Ocean Education and Environmental Literacy
    * Access to Information and Data

Research and Information Topics
    * Vitality of Coastal Communities and Maritime Operations
    * Ocean and Coastal Governance and Management of Multiple Uses
    * Fisheries and Aquaculture
    * Marine Ecosystem Structure and Function
    * Ocean Health and Stressors
    * Physical Ocean Processes, Related Climate Change, and Physical Coastal
    * Water Quality and Pollution
    * Resilience and Adaptability to Hazards and Climate Change

In the report, each topic is linked with related points from the West Coast Governors' Agreement on Ocean Health.

The project, supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and endorsed by the governors of all three states, is a response to national recommendations calling for a regional approach to research planning.

For more information, please contact Phyllis Grifman (grifman@usc.edu).


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