The overall goal of this project is to provide a summary description, assessment, and understanding of ecological conditions within nearshore rocky reef and kelp forest habitats both inside and outside of MPAs in the region. Researchers will document size, abundance, and distribution of fishes, invertebrates, and algae, as well as characterize substrate and reef rugosity (i.e., surface roughness). This project also aims to provide data on ecologically and economically important invertebrates found in nearshore rocky reef habitats of the North Coast, including red abalone and red sea urchins. These data will provide a benchmark against which future MPA performance can be measured. To document initial ecological changes, trends of species densities and community composition will be mapped over time, incorporating both new data collected as part of this project and also past data collected by scientists at Humboldt State University. This project is a collaboration among academic scientists and commercial urchin divers.



Researchers described their findings from this project in a technical report, released in July 2017. Click below to read the report.

FINAL REPORT: Baseline Characterization of Nearshore Rocky Reefs and Kelp Forests



Data from this project are coming soon! You will be able access the data through the OceanSpaces map tool and data archive to learn more about each data package.

Project leaders

Sean Craig / Humboldt State University
Ryan Jenkinson / Humboldt State University
Adam Wagschal / H. T. Harvey & Associate

Project collaborators

Brian Tissot / Humboldt State University
Franklin Moitoza / Humboldt State University
Christopher Teague / Humboldt State University