Olympic Coast Monitoring Inventory
The monitoring projects in the following inventory take place in or around the Olympic Coast 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 Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, please click here, and review the Sanctuary Condition Report.

Contact the research coordinator at the Sanctuary for additional information.



Nearshore Buoy Monitoring Arrays
Lead Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Objective Monitor oceanographic parameters to correlate with harmful algal bloom events, hypoxic events, ocean acidification, intertidal sampling efforts, and seasonal upwelling.

Click for More Details

Method Instrumented buoy arrays at 15 and 40 m anchor depths, following design by the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans at Oregon State University. Collect data for oceanographic parameters at various water column depths using thermistors, CT meters, fluorometers, and current meters.

Status Duration Frequency
Active May 2000 - present Continuous

Links Information Not Available
Partners NOAA's National Coastal Data Development Center, Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems
Keyword(s) Water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, currents, tides, carbon dioxide, depth, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), changing oceanographic conditions

Intertidal Monitoring
Lead Liam Antrim (Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary)
Objective Provide baseline information and trends over time of intertidal living resources.

Click for More Details

Method Data were collected at both rocky and sandy intertidal sites by conducting 30 m transects at three different profiles.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1996 - present Annual

Links http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/science/surveyscruises/2011
Partners Olympic National Park, Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network
Keyword(s) rocky intertidal, sandy intertidal, intertidal invertebrates, marine protected area

Canopy Kelp Surveys
Lead Washington State Department of Natural Resources
Objective Monitor kelp distribution and abundance trends along the Olympic coast.

Click for More Details

Method Data collected via aerial photogrammetry with infrared film and then scanned into digital graphic.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1989 - present Annual

Links http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/assessment/pdfs
Partners Ecoscan, Inc.
Keyword(s) kelp

Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) Beached Bird Monitoring
Lead Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team
Objective Monitor natural mortality rates of beached birds.

Click for More Details

Method Trained volunteers conduct beach walks; photos of specimens; tags for re-sightings.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1999 - present Annual

Links http://depts.washington.edu/coasst/
Partners University of Washington, COASST Partners
Keyword(s) seabirds

Sea Otter Surveys
Lead Steve Jeffries (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Objective Track and understand sea otter populations in Washington State.

Click for More Details

Method Aerial surveys combined with selected ground-truthing sites along coast; photos of large groups; periodic capturing for radio tagging, biopsies for contaminant loads and pathogens.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1985 - present Annual

Links http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/science/surveyscruises
http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/science/
Partners Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Keyword(s) sea otters

West Coast Observatories
Lead Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System
Objective Focus on various data streams including ocean temperature, current speed, oxygen, salinity, and fluorometry.

Click for More Details

Method Oceanographic parameters are observed via instrumentation attached to moorings, including current meters, thermisters, and fluorometers.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2004 - Present Variable

Links http://www.sanctuarysimon.org/regional_sections/obs/
http://www.ncddc.noaa.gov/website/NMSP_WCO/viewer.htm
Partners National Oceanographic Data Center, National Coastal Data Development Center, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA 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's Integrated Ocean Observing System, Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Keyword(s) water temperature, current speed, oxygen, salinity, fluorometry

Acoustic Surveys for Seafloor Mapping
Lead Dr. Chris Goldfinger (Oregon State University)
Objective Make incremental progress towards fully mapping the OCNMS seafloor, leading to habitat characterization and living resource monitoring efforts.

Click for More Details

Method High resolution multibeam sonar (including backscatter), sidescan sonar, groundtruthing with camera sled, video bottom grabs, remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, and/or submersibles.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1994 - present Annual

Links http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/multibeam.html
http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/multibeam_report.pdf
Partners Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans
Keyword(s) sea floor

Olympic Region Harmful Algal Blooms (ORHAB)
Lead Daniel Ayres (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Objective Investigate the origins of blooms of toxic algae, monitor where and when the blooms occur, assess the environmental conditions conducive to blooms and toxification of intertidal shellfish populations, and explore methods that can be used to reduce impacts from harmful algal blooms on humans and the environment.

Click for More Details

Method Sample water for plankton species known to harbor biotoxins; sample razor clams for biotoxins; monitor domoic acid levels; satellite imagery of harmful algal blooms.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1994 - present Bi-weekly to annual

Links http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/algal_bloom/index.html
Partners Washington Department of Health, University of Washington School of Oceanography, NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Quinault Indian Nation, Makah Tribe, Pacific Shellfish Institute, Battelle Marine Sciences Laboratory
Keyword(s) harmful algal blooms (HABs), domoic acid, human health

Ocean Biological Information System (OBIS) - Spatial Ecological Analyses of Megavertebrate Populations (SEAMAP)
Lead Andrew Read (Duke University)
Objective Create a digital database of marine mammal, seabird, and sea turtle distribution and abundance. The web-based system will allow the interactive display, query, and analysis of digital archive in conjunction with environmental data.

Click for More Details

Method Data collection methods include visual line-transect surveys, visual strip surveys, molecular techniques, and digital photography

Status Duration Frequency
Active Information Not Available Variable

Links http://seamap.env.duke.edu/
Partners Duke University, Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)
Keyword(s) marine birds, cetaceans, pinnipeds, turtles

Partnership for the Interdisciplinary Study of Coastal Oceans (PISCO)
Lead Partnership for the Interdisciplinary Study of Coastal Oceans (PISCO)
Objective Experimental studies and long-term monitoring of west coast nearshore ecosystems, with emphasis on conservation, management, and public outreach.

Click for More Details

Method Monitoring 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
Keyword(s) rocky intertidal, nearshore

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

Click for More Details

Method Data collected using a roving diver technique, wherein volunteer divers record all observed fish and environmental data onto a REEF scansheet and submit to REEF.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1997 - present Annual

Links http://reef.org/
http://www.reef.org/db/reports/geo/PAC/2703%7C2901
Partners Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Keyword(s) reef fish

NOAA National Status and Trends Mussel Watch Program
Lead Gunnar Lauenstein (NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries)
Objective Monitor water contamination in the coastal United States by analyzing chemical and biological contaminant trends in sediments and bivalve tissues.

Click for More Details

Method Collect mussels and oysters at over 200 sites for sediment analysis and chemical analysis for a suite of trace contaminants, including organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and tributyltin (TBT).

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1986 - present Annual

Links http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/about/coast/nsandt/musselwatch
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserves
Keyword(s) mussels, oysters, sediment, contamination

West Coast Bottom Trawl Survey
Lead Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Objective Assess the distribution, abundance and biological characteristics of commercially important fish species, particularly sablefish, and many of the shelf and slope rockfish species.

Click for More Details

Method Bottom trawls

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1990 - present Initially triennial (1977-2001), annual (2001- present)

Links http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/
http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fram/
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) Groundfish

Green Crab Monitoring
Lead Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Objective Seasonal monitoring of the invasive European green crab.

Click for More Details

Method Deployment of intertidal traps during late spring to early fall.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1999 - present Annual

Links http://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/species.php?Name=carcinus_maenas
Partners Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Keyword(s) green crab

Pinniped Haulout Areas
Lead Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Objective Monitor population trends at pinniped haulout sites in Washington State.

Click for More Details

Method Data are collected via aerial surveys, including photos for counting pinnipeds.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1980s - present Annual (spring and summer)

Links http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/pub.php?id=00427
Partners National Marine Fisheries Service
Keyword(s) pinniped, haulout, population

Nearshore Seabird Project
Lead Scott Pearson, Martin Raphael (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Objective Monitor nearshore seabird distribution and abundance.

Click for More Details

Method Small boat surveys using pre-determined tracklines.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1990s - present Annual (spring and summer)

Links http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/research/seabird
Partners Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Keyword(s) nearshore, seabirds

Acoustic Mooring
Lead Scripps Institute of Oceanography, United States Navy
Objective Characterize the vocalizations of cetacean species present in the sanctuary, determine their year-round seasonal presence in the region, and evaluate their distribution near the Navy range.

Click for More Details

Method Recordings are gathered by a year-round mooring with acoustic receivers; these data are periodically correlated to surface sightings from boats.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2006 - present Annual

Links http://cetus.ucsd.edu/projects_Washington.html
Partners Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Cascadia Research Collective
Keyword(s) whale, dolphin, cetacean, acoustic

NDBC Buoys
Lead NOAA National Data Buoy Center
Objective Assess meteorological parameters via instrumented buoys deployed within the sanctuary.

Click for More Details

Method Moored buoys are equipped with sensors for wind speed and direction, air and sea surface temperatures, and barometric pressure.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1990s - present Continuous (real-time)

Links http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/data/Forecasts/FZUS56.KSEW.html
Partners United States Coast Guard
Keyword(s) weather, navigation, real-time, data buoy

ATBA Monitoring
Lead Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Objective Monitor voluntary compliance with the International Maritime Organization's Area to be Avoided (ATBA) for commercial vessels transporting hazardous cargo.

Click for More Details

Method Known vessel traffic within the northern half of the sanctuary is monitored using Canadian vessel traffic radar.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2002 - present Continuous (real-time)

Links http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/pdfs/atbafinal.pdf
Partners United States Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services
Keyword(s) boating traffic

NWFSC Acoustic Mooring
Lead Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Objective Monitoring for presence/absence of all vocalizing cetaceans, but focusing on southern resident killer whales.

Click for More Details

Method Passive acoustic monitoring via recording devices placed within the sanctuary.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2005 - present Data downloaded annually

Links Information Not Available
Partners Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Keyword(s) killer whales, acoustics

Oceanographic Moorings
Lead Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Objective Scientific moorings collect oceanographic data within the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Click for More Details

Method Sensors on moorings collect physical and chemical oceanographic data including temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, fluorometry, and current velocity/direction.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2010 - present Continuous (real-time)

Links http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/2010_moorings.html
http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/2011/moorings.html
Partners University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory
Keyword(s) water quality, temperature, current meter, changing oceanographic conditions

ORCAWALE
Lead Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Objective Monitor trends in distribution and abundance of cetaceans and seabirds along the west coast of the Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ).

Click for More Details

Method Ship-based surveys using marine mammal observers for line-transect methodology and seabird observers for strip transects; oceanographic data collected as well.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2000 - present Every 3-4 years

Links http://swfsc.noaa.gov/textblock.aspx?
Partners Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Keyword(s) cetaceans, marine birds, abundance, distribution

Offshore Cetacean Surveys
Lead Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Objective Monitor offshore distribution and abundance of cetaceans.

Click for More Details

Method Ship-based binocular and naked-eye surveys following line-transect protocols. Surveys conducted along permanent east-west tracklines; photo identification catalogue collected.

Status Duration Frequency
Active June 1995 - present Annual between late May and July

Links Information Not Available
Partners Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Keyword(s) cetaceans

Offshore Seabird Surveys
Lead Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Objective Monitor offshore distribution and abundance trends of seabirds.

Click for More Details

Method Ship-based binocular and naked-eye surveys using following strip transect methodology. Surveys conducted along permanent east-west tracklines, simultaneously with marine mammal survey.

Status Duration Frequency
Active June 1995 - present Annual between late May and July

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

REEF Surveys for Fish and Macroinvertebrates
Lead Reef Environmental Education Foundation
Objective Monitor selected fish and invertebrate species using volunteer diver surveys.

Click for More Details

Method Visual scuba surveys are conducted by volunteer divers.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2003 - present Annual

Links http://reef.org/
Partners Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Keyword(s) fish, invertebrate

Fiber Optic Cable Installation - Benthic Recovery Monitoring
Lead Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Objective Monitoring program across varying habitats and fishing intensities to determine recovery time of benthic habitats and communities after disturbance by cable burial procedures.

Click for More Details

Method Video and sample collection via remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or submersible.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2000 - present Annual for several years, then intermittent with last survey in 2008 and a future survey planned in 2012

Links Information Not Available
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) fishing intensity

US Geological Survey Stream Gauge Network
Lead United States Geological Survey
Objective Provides historical and real-time river/stream level and flow information. Data from real-time sites are relayed to USGS offices via satellite, telephone, and/or radio and are available for viewing within minutes of arrival.

Click for More Details

Method Real-time data typically are recorded at 15-60 minute intervals, stored onsite, and then transmitted to USGS offices every 1 to 4 hours, depending on the data relay technique used.

Status Duration Frequency
Active Information Not Available Continuous (every 15-60 minutes)

Links http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) water quality

Tagging of Pacific Pelagics (TOPP)
Lead NOAA's Pacific Fisheries Ecosystems Lab, Stanford's Hopkins Marine Lab, and University of California-Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory
Objective Tagging and tracking pelagic nekton and birds in the North Pacific to learn how they use the ocean environment. Species include white sharks, leather back sea turtles, black-footed albatross, sooty shearwaters, and elephant seals.

Click for More Details

Method Pop-up archival tags

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1998 - present Variable

Links http://topp.org/
http://las.pfeg.noaa.gov/TOPP_recent/index.html
Partners TOPP partners
Keyword(s) marine birds, cetaceans, pinnipeds, sea turtles, fish

Deep Sea Corals
Lead National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
Objective Inventory deep sea corals inventoried from the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and the Davidson Seamount.

Click for More Details

Method Deep sea coral populations are surveyed using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), submersibles, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and camera sleds.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2002 - present Every few years

Links http://coralreef.noaa.gov/deepseacorals/about/
Partners Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Keyword(s) coral, ROV, AUV

Coast Watch
Lead NOAA's Coast Watch Program
Objective Provide remotely sensed satellite and other environmental data to government decision makers and academic researchers.

Click for More Details

Method Satellite imagery.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1979 - present Continuous

Links http://coastwatch.noaa.gov/
Partners NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory
Keyword(s) acoustics, remote sensing, water temperature, wind, ocean color

Rapid Assessment of Invasive Species
Lead Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Objective Periodic assessment of coastal areas by expert taxonomists to detect invasive species.

Click for More Details

Method Team of expert taxonomists for marine macroinvertebrates and macroalgae survey intertidal areas for the presence of invasive species.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 2001 - present Intermittent (every few years)

Links http://research.nhm.org/collection.html?code=olympic
http://faculty.washington.edu/cemills/OCX2001.html
Partners Washington Department of Natural Resources, Oregon State University, University of Washington, University of California-Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County Museum, University of Southern California, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, University of Washington-Tacoma, Western Washington University
Keyword(s) invertebrate, macroalgae, invasive species, intertidal

Seabird Colony Survey
Lead United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Objective Monitor seabird colonies to determine long-term trends of hatching success.

Click for More Details

Method Aerial surveys in late spring and summer, including photos for counting.

Status Duration Frequency
Active 1990s - present Annual (with some temporal gaps)

Links http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/research/projects/seabird
http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/seabird_colony_catalog.htm
Partners Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, University of Washington
Keyword(s) marine birds

Nearshore Seabird Project
Lead Liam Antrim (Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary)
Objective Monitor nearshore seabird distribution and abundance.

Click for More Details

Method Surveys are conducted across predetermined track lines using the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary's R/V Tatoosh.

Status Duration Frequency
Inactive, pending funding 2004 - 2011 Annual (summer data collection)

Links http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/2010_pelagicseabirds.html
http://olympiccoast.noaa.gov/marinebirds.html
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) marine birds

Subtidal Monitoring
Lead Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Objective Monitor long-term trends in subtidal macroinvertebrate and macroalgal communities, particularly as they relate to sea otter habitat areas.

Click for More Details

Method Scuba surveys are conducted using either quadrat sampling and/or video transects.

Status Duration Frequency
Inactive 1987-1997 Every few years

Links Information Not Available
Partners California State University-Monterey Bay, University of California-Santa Cruz
Keyword(s) subtidal, macroinvertebrate, macroalgae, sea otter, habitat

Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students (LiMPETS)
Lead LiMPETS
Objective An environmental monitoring and education program for students, educators, and volunteer groups throughout California. The program provides authentic, hands-on coastal monitoring experiences that empower teachers, students, and the community to conduct real science and become ocean stewards.

Click for More Details

Method Approximately 3,500 teachers and students are collecting rocky intertidal and sandy beach data via transects, quadrats, sieves, buckets, calipers, etc.

Status Duration Frequency
Inactive, pending funding 2002-2010 Seasonal and intermittent

Links http://limpetsmonitoring.org/
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?
http://www.farallones.org/education/student_monitoring.php
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) rocky intertidal, sandy intertidal, soft bottom

University of Washington Oceanographic Mooring
Lead University of Washington
Objective Collect physical oceanographic data using a scientific mooring.

Click for More Details

Method Sensors on mooring collecting physical and chemical oceanographic data.

Status Duration Frequency
Inactive 2003-2008 Seasonal and intermittent

Links Information Not Available
Partners NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Keyword(s) physical oceanography

Printable Site Inventory



leaving site indicates a link leaves the site. Please view our Link Disclaimer for more information.
Revised June 10, 2013 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Privacy Policy | For Employees | User Survey
http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/monitoring/mi_ocnms.html