Partnering for Healthy Marine Ecosystems

The Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS) project is a long-term research and monitoring collaboration between Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and Point Blue Conservation Science. Scientists measure the physical and chemical conditions in the ocean, the availability of prey such as krill and other zooplankton, and the abundance and distribution of predators, such as seabirds and whales. Information from this project enables sanctuaries to examine coastal and open-sea ecosystem health, contributing to a better understanding of ecosystem patterns and changes. NOAA and other agencies use the project data to protect resources in the sanctuaries, by addressing whale entanglement, ship strikes, climate change impacts, and more.

people work to lower large equipment from the deck of a boat into the water
Researchers deploy water sampling devices to measure water conductivity and temperature change with depth. Photo: Jenny Woodman
a small krill
Tiny krill make up an important part of the food chain in Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries. Photo: Dru Devlin
a collection of a large amount of krill
The size and abundance of krill can tell researchers a lot about the health of an ecosystem. Photo: Dru Devlin