West Coast Ecosystem-Based Management Activities

On the West Coast the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem stretches from southern British Columbia, Canada to Baja California, Mexico, and includes the U.S. waters off the West Coast, the coastal land-sea interface, and connected watersheds.  This ecosystem produces abundant ecosystem goods and services including fisheries, recreation, tourism, energy production, climate regulation, pollution control, and transportation. This highly productive ecosystem is fueled by seasonal upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water. These episodes of productivity lead to seasonal cycles that support fishes like sardines, anchovies and herring that serve as food for larger species, including migratory fishes, birds and mammals. The California Current Ecosystem provides significant economic, cultural, social and aesthetic benefits that enhance the quality of life for coastal communities, and greatly benefit economies of California, Oregon, and Washington


California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

The California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) is a dynamic, diverse environment in the eastern North Pacific Ocean spanning nearly 3,000 km from southern British Columbia to Baja California and includes the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, the coastal land-sea interface, and adjacent terrestrial watersheds. A primary goal of the California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) is to understand the web of interactions that link ecosystem drivers and pressures and to forecast how changing environmental conditions and management actions affect the status of these components in the California Current LME. This IEA integrates information collected by NOAA and other federal agencies, states, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions. This effort is used to involve and inform a wide variety of stakeholders and agencies that rely on science support for EBM and manage diverse, potentially conflicting ocean-use sectors.

California Current IEA Website

Habitat Blue Print Russian River Focus Area

Located in northern California, the Russian River drains a 1,485 square mile watershed and is home to several endangered salmon and trout species. Heavy demand and competing uses of the river’s water adds to the stress on these fish. As a valuable resource for agriculture and viticulture (grape production) as well as domestic water supply, water extraction from the river and its tributaries can create low river levels that leave fish stranded during the spring, summer, and early fall.  Further, residential areas within the Russian River Valley watershed are impacted by frequent flooding. Steep hills and numerous canyons make accurate rainfall predictions and flood forecasts difficult. As a result of such ecological and societal factors, the Russian River watershed was selected as a Habitat Focus Area under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint to increase the effectiveness of NOAA’s habitat conservation science and management efforts by addressing multiple habitat conservation objectives on a watershed scale.

Russian River Habitat Focus Area Website

National Marine Sanctuaries

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for a network of 14 marine protected areas throughout U.S. Ocean and Great Lakes waters. A healthy ocean is the basis for thriving recreation, tourism and commercial activities that drive coastal economies, and the sanctuaries work with diverse partners and stakeholders to promote responsible, sustainable ocean uses that ensure the health of our most valued ocean places. The West Coast Region is home to five National Marine Sanctuaries including:

National Marine Sanctuaries West Coast Homepage

This represents a sample of the NOAA programs employing EBM in the West Coast region, it is not comprehensive. If there are programs you feel should be included please contact us.