Coastal Ecology and Biology

Photo Credit: Charlotte Stevenson

Millions of Californians and visitors explore the shores each year, enjoying the rocky intertidal zone, which is filled with tidepools, brilliant anemones, sea stars, crabs and other creatures clinging tightly to the rocks, waiting for the returning tide. Unfortunately, this endless fascination and love of the rocky coastline can cause serious impacts to nearshore ecosystems. USC Sea Grant-funded research and outreach projects have focused on visitor impacts (trampling, collecting and tide-pooling) to identify changes in the abundances of marine life. Recent research has demonstrated long-term changes in rocky intertidal populations and communities over a period of shifts in oceanographic climate and a period of steadily increasing urbanization of our coastlines. Studies like these make it possible to identify and quantify changes in species abundance and community structure over the last 50 years, and, more importantly, to discern which changes are due to natural variations in climate and which changes should be attributed to human impact.

Research and Outreach Projects
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Funding Opportunities
Click here to learn about funding opportunities through USC Sea Grant.
For more information
(213) 740-1961
National Focus Area
Healthy Coastal Ecosystems