The purpose of this report is to provide a brief overview, for the MLPA process, of select species groups that have been monitored for the last seven years in Orange County as part of the Orange County Giant Kelp Restoration Project.
As the majority of the twenty-seven petroleum platforms off of California are slated to end productivity within the next ten years, the issue of decommissioning is becoming of greater public interest. Previous surveys in the Santa Barbara Channel have shown that petroleum platforms act as rearing habitat for many over-fished rockfish species, however no thorough systematic surveys of the platforms located off Long Beach and Huntington Beach have been conducted.
Trained AAUS volunteer scientific divers from the Aquarium of the Pacific are assisting the California Coast Keeper Alliance with a two-year monitoring project at Crystal Cove State Park.
Trained AAUS volunteer scientific divers from the Aquarium of the Pacific assisted researchers from USC and the University of Washington studying seawater circulation through nearshore sediments by obtaining core sediment and water samples from the substrate from three sites off of the coast of Huntington Beach.
In November 2005, the Aquarium Dive Safety Officer participated in the annual NPS/CMAR shipwreck survey in California’s Northern Channel Islands.
The overall goal of this community-based research program is to train volunteer non-scientists to conduct research and collect data relating toquestions of marine conservation and management inside the recently established Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of the CINMS. Data was collected during a one week research expedition to the Channel Islands, where the divers practiced data collection following specific sampling protocols. Information obtained was used to supplement existing monitoring projects already underway by researchers at UCSB, PISCO, CDFG, the CINMS, and the Channel Islands National Park Service’s Kelp Forest Monitoring Program (KFM), among others.
Aquarium scientific divers-in-training participated in part of a statewide study managed by University of California, Davis/Sea Grant and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coastal Conservancy to locate and identify abandoned marine debris in the waters surrounding Catalina Island.
Volunteer scientific divers from the Aquarium of the Pacific assisted California State University, Fullerton PhD. candidate Mike Navarro with his studies aimed at understanding how larvae of many species disperse in ocean currents.
Scientific divers from the Aquarium of the Pacific assisted graduate students from California State University, Fullerton by collecting larval sea hares and various other mollusks. Deciphering the connectivity of marine populations involves tracking larval sources and settlement sites.
Aquarium scientific divers assisted with weekly observations from the Summer of 2004 through the Summer of 2005 as part of a study to determine details of the spawning periodicity of black perch, in King Harbor at Redondo Beach, California.