Monitoring Marine Protected Areas

PISCO scientists design and conduct studies to monitor and evaluate the effects of marine reserves and other protected areas. PISCO’s monitoring program focuses on rocky shores, kelp forests, and the nearshore ocean environment to provide the necessary data for on-going evaluations of the effectiveness of marine protected areas.

Photo CreditPhoto credit: Christine McConnellPhoto credit: Amy Wagner

For example, PISCO researchers at UC Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara contribute their ecosystem knowledge and extensive monitoring experience to inform adaptive management of protected areas in California. PISCO monitoring is conducted in close collaboration with a number of partners, including state and federal agencies. The resulting data provide important baseline and on-going evaluative information.

The monitoring work is one way that PISCO directly informs management and policy. In addition to ecosystem monitoring, PISCO contributes to marine protected area design by targeted studies about ecological interactions, population connectivity, and other research themes.

 Photo credits: Christine McConnell, Amy Wagner

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