Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS)
Mission and Objectives

The Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS) is a partnership that supports marine wildlife conservation and healthy marine ecosystems in northern and central California by conducting ocean research to inform resource managers, policy makers and conservation partners.

Objectives:

A) Research, monitoring and management

ACCESS members jointly conduct integrated, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary research to monitor distribution, abundance and demography of marine wildlife in the context of underlying physical oceanographic processes.

Results inform managers, policy-makers and conservation partners about wildlife responses to changes in ocean conditions and human threats in order to mobilize public support for marine conservation.

The main research objectives and management issues we aim to address include:

1) Wildlife – improve conservation of top predators and their food webs,
2) Ocean zoning – guide human uses to provide protection of the marine ecosystem,
3) Climate change – document effects of environmental change on the marine ecosystem,
4) Fish populations – contribute to ecosystem-based management approaches, and
5) Water quality – assess ecosystem effects of freshwater outflow.

B) Information management and sharing

We will communicate with the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and the Pacific Coast Ocean Observing System (PaCOOS) which focus on monitoring physical, chemical, and remotely sensed biological conditions in the ocean.

The information we collect, while available upon request, will become available to collaborators as part of the California Avian Data Center (CADC).

We will produce and disseminate an annual ‘Northern and Central California Pelagic Ecosystem Status Report’ to inform managers, policy-makers and conservation partners about wildlife responses to changes in ocean conditions and human threats to mobilize public support for marine conservation.

C) Education and outreach

We will share information with the public and different user groups through various web sites, including an interactive spatial mapping tool and project pages on the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN).

NOAA’s Teacher-at-Sea research experiences and undergraduate and graduate internships and collaborative projects provide opportunities for training new scientists and reaching broader audiences.