Coastal Ecosystems

USC Sea Grant's vision is for a healthier urban environment, reflected by cleaner coastal waters that afford better opportunities for recreation and commerce and the protection of human and ecosystem health. We focus our Coastal Ecosystems Program on the Marine Protected Areas, Harmful Algal Blooms, Coastal Ecology and Biology, and Aquatic Invasive Species.

Coastal Ecology and Biology
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...more

Aquatic Invasive Species
The increasing presence of aquatic invasive species in native assemblages poses a worldwide threat to coastal ecosystems, and coastal regions are among the most heavily invaded of all marine habitats. It is...more

Harmful Algal Blooms
Certain algae (i.e. Pseudo-nitzschia a and Alexandrium catenell) are capable of toxic or harmful algal blooms (HABs), releasing compounds (for example, domoic acid....more
Marine Protected Areas
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are discreet geographic marine or estuarine areas designed to protect or conserve marine life and habitat. There are three types of MPAs recognized in California...more