Adapting to Changing Ocean Conditions: Exploring the Role of Long-term Monitoring

​In what ways can changing coastal ocean conditions and associated biological responses be tracked so that the best science meets decision makers' diverse information needs for today and tomorrow? 

Across management and policy jurisdictions -- including water quality, living natural resources, and protected area management -- West Coast decision makers must plan for the impacts of changing ocean conditions. Because of the complexity of the threats facing ecosystems and coastal communities throughout the region, there is growing recognition that we must come together across scientific and political landscapes in new ways.


Workshop: Sharing Perspectives and Challenges of Detecting Long-term Change 

​To address this need, we convened a workshop in Sacramento on November 5, 2015 that brought together natural resource managers, policymakers, and scientists along the west coast to:

  1. deepen collective understanding of how ecological monitoring can support cross‐jurisdictional ocean and coastal resource management and policy by tracking the effects of climate change,
  2. explore how nearshore ocean monitoring programs themselves need to adapt to measure progress towards management goals given a changing environment and
  3. highlight the value and opportunity of a collaborative West Coast approach.

Download the Full Workshop Proceedings (PDF)

Download the Proceedings Executive Summary (PDF)


Providing Scientific Guidance for Decision Making

Workshop discussions are forming the basis of a document that explores the scientific and management challenges of long‐term monitoring for long‐term change and recommends approaches for overcoming these challenges. With a focus in the nearshore coastal ocean along the U.S. West Coast, this resource can inform programs seeking to adapt existing and develop new monitoring plans.


Decision-Maker Recommendations Document (coming mid 2016)

Project leaders

Kristen Milligan / Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans and Oregon State University
Benét Duncan / California Ocean Science Trust
Hayley Carter / California Ocean Science Trust, San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival
Jessica Watson / Oregon Department of Fish and Game, Marine Reserves Program
Stephen Wertz / California Department of Fish and Wildlife