Channel Islands Monitoring Inventory
The monitoring projects in the following inventory take place in or around the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Projects are conducted by either Sanctuary staff or by our partners. Summary information is presented for each. Use the "Click to for More Details" option to expand the information displayed.

For more information about the monitoring activities at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, please click here, and review the Sanctuary Condition Report.

Contact the research coordinator at the Sanctuary for additional information.



Pinniped Population Studies
Lead Robert Delong (National Marine Fisheries Service)
Objective Describe pinniped population biology at San Miguel and San Nicholas Islands.

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Method Visual surveys of pinniped colonies are conducted to assess the demographics and condition of local population; biological sampling is conducted to assess pinniped health and other parameters.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1968 - present Annual

Links http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/nmml/california/research/
Partners National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service
Keyword(s) marine mammals

Aerial Monitoring of Pinnipeds
Lead Mark Lowry (Southwest Fisheries Science Center)
Objective Monitor pinniped populations within the Channel Islands, the state of California, and the western United States.

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Method Color aerial photos are taken of all target species at haulouts and rookeries, and individuals are counted from the photographs.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1981 - present Annual

Links http://swfsc.noaa.gov/textblock.aspx?Division
Partners National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Keyword(s) marine mammals, photogrammetry, populations

Photo Identification of Humpback and Blue Whales
Lead John Calambokidis (Cascadia Research)
Objective Assess the abundance, trends, movement patterns and stock structure of humpback and blue whales in the eastern North Pacific; examine the underwater behavior of whales; examine aspects of human impact on whales.

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Method Small boat surveys, photo identification of individuals, mark-recapture to calculate abundance, application of suction-cup attached tags to monitor underwater behavior, collection of skin samples for genetics with biopsy darts.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1986 - present Annual

Links http://www.cascadiaresearch.org/photoID-US.htm
Partners Cascadia Research
Keyword(s) marine mammals, population trends, monitoring

Sanctuary Aerial Monitoring Spatial Analysis Program
Lead Ben Waltenberger (Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary)
Objective Map mammal and vessel distributions and provide emergency response.

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Method Double aerial transects within the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are conducted once each week using NOAA, contract, or partner aircraft.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1997 - present Weekly

Links Information Not Available
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) marine mammals

Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe)
Lead MARINe Manager: Mary Elaine Helix (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management), MARINe Coordinator: Dr. Jack Engle (Marine Science Institute)
Objective MARINe monitors sites along the Pacific Coast using two different approaches: target assemblage monitoring (Core Monitoring) which is done biannually at 80 locations in California and Oregon, and biodiversity community sampling (Biodiversity Monitoring) which is done over a broader area (91 locations from Alaska to Mexico) but less often.

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Method Selected target species are monitored using photos taken at replicate photoplots; other target species are counted and measured at replicate irregular plots and circular plots. Surfgrass and feather boa kelp are monitored using a point-intercept method on replicate transects. Panoramic photos are taken of each site to monitor changes at the site as a whole.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1990s - present Biannual

Links http://www.marine.gov/Research.html
Partners University of California-Santa Barbara
Keyword(s) marine invertebrates, biodiversity, core monitoring

Plumes and Blooms
Lead Nathalie Guillocheau (University of California-Santa Barbara)
Objective Assess ocean color of the Santa Barbara Channel to monitor terrestrial sediment plumes, phytoplankton blooms, water quality and optics, SeaWIFS (ocean color/Chla)

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Method Ocean color is assessed using a CTD (conductivity, temperature, and depth) instrument and SeaWiFS satellite imagery.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1996 - present 10 times per year

Links http://www.icess.ucsb.edu/PnB/PnB.html
Partners University of California-Santa Barbara, Earth Research Institute, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Keyword(s) water quality, algal blooms, ocean color

Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Nearshore Fish Assemblage Monitoring
Lead Christy Pattengill-Semmens (REEF)
Objective Assess temporal distribution and abundance of marine fishes.

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Method Surveys are conducted using a roving diver technique; divers record all observed fish and environmental data onto a REEF scansheet and submit data to REEF.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1997 - present Variable

Links http://www.reef.org/programs/sanctuaries/CINMS
http://www.reef.org/programs/volunteersurvey
Partners Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)
Keyword(s) fish, population surveys

West Coast Observatories
Lead Steve Katz (Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary)
Objective Collect data on oceanographic parameters including ocean temperature, current speed, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and fluorometry.

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Method Instrumentation such as current meters, thermistors, and fluorometers are attached to moorings located within the sanctuary.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2004 - present Variable

Links http://www.sanctuarysimon.org/regional_sections/
Partners National Oceanographic Data Center, National Coastal Data Development Center, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Office of Response and Restoration, Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans, Pacific Coastal Observing System, Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System, University of California-Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory, Coastal Services Center, NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System Program Office, Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Keyword(s) water temperature, current speed, oxygen, salinity, fluorometry

Tagging of Pacific Pelagics (TOPP)
Lead Randall Kochevar (Monterey Bay Aquarium), Barbara Block (Stanford University), Dan Costa (University of California-Santa Cruz), Steven Bograd (Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory)
Objective Use archiving tags to track pelagic nekton and birds in the North Pacific to learn how they use the ocean environment. Species studied include white sharks, leatherback sea turtles, black-footed albatross, sooty shearwaters, and elephant seals.

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Method Pop-up archival tags are affixed to target species.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1998 - present Variable

Links http://las.pfeg.noaa.gov/TOPP_recent/index.html
http://www.sanctuarysimon.org/farallones/sections
Partners Monterey Bay Aquarium
Keyword(s) marine birds, cetaceans, pinnipeds, sea turtles, fish

Partnership for the Interdisciplinary Study of Coastal Oceans (PISCO)
Lead Jennifer Caselle (University of California Santa Barbara)
Objective Conduct experimental studies and long-term monitoring projects on west coast nearshore ecosystems, with emphasis on conservation, management, and public outreach.

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Method Monitoring projects are conducted using scuba stratified transect surveys and rocky shore transect surveys.

Status Duration Frequency
Active August 1999 - present Annual

Links http://www.piscoweb.org/
Partners University of California Santa Barbara, University of California Santa Cruz, Stanford University, Oregon State University-Corvalis
Keyword(s) rocky intertidal

Movement Patterns of Marine Fishes in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Lead Jennifer Caselle (University of California Santa Barbara)
Objective Document species caught in traps and assess movement patterns (scales of movement) at multiple scales for target. Correlate movement with features of habitat and fish density, and assess movement rates over reserve boundary.

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Method External tagging, visual re-sighting, re-trapping.

Status Duration Frequency
Inactive Information Not Available Monthly

Links Information Not Available
Partners Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, California Department of Fish and Game, National Marine Fisheries Service, Sea Grant, University of California-Santa Barbara, Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans, fishermen of Santa Barbara and Ventura
Keyword(s) fish, movement patterns

Remote Sensing of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Lead Ben Waltenberger (Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary)
Objective Collect aerial and orbital imagery of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary as well as remotely operated vehicle (ROV) data.

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Method Orbital platforms, aerial transects, opportunistic ROV tracks.

Status Duration Frequency
Inactive 1997 - present Variable

Links Information Not Available
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) habitat type, remote sensing, ROV

CSU Monterey Bay - Seafloor Mapping Lab
Lead Dr. Rikk Kvitek (California State University-Monterey Bay)
Objective The Seafloor Mapping Lab within the Division of Science and Environmental Policy at California State University Monterey Bay specializes in high-resolution acoustic remote sensing for coastal habitats.

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Method Surveys were conducted using Reson multibeam echo sounder, sidescan, and remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

Status Duration Frequency
Inactive Information Not Available Variable

Links http://seafloor.csumb.edu/projects.html
Partners California State University Monterey Bay
Keyword(s) remote sensing, seafloor mapping, ROV

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