Remote Sensing Tools for Mapping and Monitoring Kelp Forests along the West Coast

December, 2023 NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

This report evaluates the capabilities and practical applications of satellite imagery, plane-based aerial imagery, and uncrewed aerial systems, with specific recommendations to increase the capacity of resource managers to acquire data and support analysis conducive to adaptive management of kelp forests.

Blue Carbon in Marine Protected Areas: Part 3

November, 2023 NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

This third publication in the series highlights the first systematic evaluation of carbon storage potential in North-Central California and calculated the amount of organic carbon stored in marine sediments within a 5,855-square-mile area encompassing Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (NMS), Cordell Bank NMS, and the northern portion of Monterey Bay NMS.

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Marine Bird Mass Mortality Events as an Indicator of the Impacts of Ocean Warming

July, 2023 Marine Ecology Progress Series

Data from our Beach Watch surveys help show the impact of warming oceans on seabird populations. A just-released study, led by the University of Washington and published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, used data collected by community scientists from California to Alaska to understand how persistent marine heatwaves relate to seabird mortalityThe results link persistently warmer ocean conditions to extraordinary seabird die-offs, showing Murres, Puffins, Auklets and Shearwaters suffered more than others.

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Using Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles to Map and Monitor Changes in Emergent Kelp Canopy After an Ecological Regime Shift

September, 2022 Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

Healthy kelp forests are important for both people and nature but increasingly severe ecosystem stressors like marine heatwaves have resulted in declines in kelp in many regions, including the North Coast of California. Given the significant and sustained loss of kelp in this region, management intervention is needed to reset the ecosystem. Through this research we contributed to the largest science-based drone survey ever conducted in California to map kelp canopy cover and advance strategic kelp restoration alongside Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and partners.

Blue Carbon in Marine Protected Areas: Part 2

September, 2021 NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

As requested by Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in response to Part 1 of this series, the Greater Farallones Association conducted a blue carbon assessment for the sanctuary. This is the first assessment of multiple blue carbon sequestration processes in a U.S. federal MPA, with the primary purpose of informing one of the nation’s largest MPAs in its management decision-making.

Blue Carbon in Marine Protected Areas: Part 1

August, 2021 NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Led by Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, with support from the Greater Farallones Association, this review is Part 1 of a series to inform and guide MPA managers in the assessment, protection, and management of blue carbon habitats and processes.

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Temporal Trends and Potential Drivers of Stranded Marine Debris on Beaches Within Two US National Marine Sanctuaries Using Citizen Science Data

November, 2020 Frontiers in Environmental Science

Marine debris is a threat to our ocean that can be more effectively addressed through monitoring and assessment of items stranded on shorelines. This study engaged citizen scientists to conduct shoreline marine debris surveys according to a published NOAA protocol within the Greater Farallones and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuaries on the west coast of the United States.