Charlotte Stevenson, USC Sea Grant
2011. This report was comissioned by California Ocean Protection Council.
David A. Caron, et al.
Water Research, 44:385-416, 2010
Copies Available: doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2009.06.051
Seawater desalination by reverse osmosis (RO) is a reliable method for augmenting drinking water supplies. In recent years, the number and size of these water projects have increased dramatically. As freshwater resources become limited due to global climate change, rising demand, and exhausted local water supplies, seawater desalination will play an important role in the world’s future water supply, reaching far beyond its deep roots in the Middle East. Emerging contaminants have been widely discussed with respect to wastewater and freshwater sources, but also must be considered for seawater desalination facilities to ensure the longterm safety and suitability of this emerging water supply. Harmful algal blooms, frequently referred to as ‘red tides’ due to their vibrant colors, are a concern for desalination plants due to the high biomass of microalgae present in ocean waters during these events, and a variety of substances that some of these algae produce. These compounds range from noxious substances to powerful neurotoxins that constitute significant public health risks if they are not effectively and completely removed by the RO membranes. Algal blooms can cause significant operational issues that result in increased chemical consumption, increased membrane fouling rates, and in extreme cases, a plant to be taken off‐line. Early algal bloom detection by desalination facilities is essential so that operational adjustments can be made to ensure that production capacity remains unaffected. This review identifies the toxic substances, their known producers, and our present state of knowledge regarding the causes of toxic episodes, with a special focus on the Southern California Bight.
Author(s): Juliette A Finzi Hart, Phyllis M. Grifman, Susanne C. Moser, Adina Adbeles, Monique R. Myers, Susan C. Schlosser, Julia A. Ekstrom
USCSG-TR-01-2012 - Summary - PDF
Sea level along most of California's coast is already rising and the best science available suggests it will continue to rise at an increasing rate in the future. In addition, climate change will bring higher air and water temperatures, changes in precipitation and runoff, thus changes in water supplies and quality, and more extreme tides and storm surges that will aggravate coastal flooding and erosion. While uncertainty remains as to how these changes will unfold in any one place along the coasts and embayments of California, further change is assured.
Are coastal professionals preparing for these changes? This report presents results of a survey of California coastal managers that shows that neither the state nor coastal communities are standing by until science and policy questions are settled. Communities along both the open ocean coast and along bay and estuarine shorelines are beginning to plan for climate change impacts. Despite scientific uncertainties and the economic challenges of recent years, they are rising to the challenge of coastal climate change. In light of already experienced changes, and the scientifically robust projections of additional and accelerating impacts of climate change in the future, this survey aimed to assess coastal professionals' concerns with climate change impacts, their activities to date to plan and prepare for them, and the needs and barriers they encounter in planning for climate change.
In an unprecedented collaboration of 15 organizations who share an interest in the sustainable management and stewardship of the state's coastal and marine resources, a survey was prepared. The results will inform their efforts to provide appropriate trainings and technical assistance to coastal professionals and to link them to the resources and tools that already exist.
Nearly 600 coastal professionals along California's open ocean, bay, delta, and estuarine coastlines, from a range of communities, regional, state and federal government agencies, as well as the civic and private sectors were surveyed in the summer and fall of 2011 to understand:
Author(s): Stephanie Diaz, Jayson R. Smith, Susan F. Zaleski and Steven N. Murray
doi/10.1007/s00267-012-9860-3 - Link
The invasion of the aquarium strain of the green alga Caulerpa taxifolia and subsequent alteration of community structure in the Mediterranean Sea raised awareness of the potential for non-native seaweeds to impact coastal communities. An introduction of C. taxifolia in southern California in 2000, presumably from the release of aquarium specimens, cost *$7 million for eradication efforts. Besides C. taxifolia, other Caulerpa species being sold for aquarium use also may have the potential to invade southern Californian and U.S. waters. Surveys of the availability of Caulerpa species in southern California aquarium retail stores in 2000–2001 revealed that 26 of 50 stores sold at least one Caulerpa species (52 %) with seven stores selling C. taxifolia. In late 2001, California imposed a ban on the importation, sale, or possession of nine Caulerpa species; the City of San Diego expanded these regulations to include the entire genus. To determine the effectiveness of the California ban, we resurveyed Caulerpa availability at 43 of the 50 previously sampled retail stores in southern California in *2006, *4 years following the ban. Of the 43 stores, 23 sold Caulerpa (53 %) with four stores selling C. taxifolia. A v2 test of frequency of availability before and after the California ban suggests that the ban has not been effective and that the aquarium trade continues to represent a potential vector for distributing Caulerpa specimens, including C. taxifolia. This study underscores the need for increased enforcement and outreach programs to increase awareness among the aquarium industry and aquarium hobbyists.
Author(s): David Jacobs, Eric D. Stein, Travis Longcore
USCSG-TR-04-2010 - PDF
Determining the appropriate design template is critical to coastal wetland restoration. In seasonally wet and semi-arid regions of the world coastal wetlands tend to close off from the sea seasonally or episodically, and decisions regarding estuarine mouth closure have far reaching implications for cost, management, and ultimate success of coastal wetland restoration. In the past restoration planners relied on an incomplete understanding of the factors that influence estuarine mouth closure. Consequently, templates from other climatic/physiographic regions are often inappropriately applied. The first step to addressing this issue is to develop a classification system based on an understanding of the processes that formed the estuaries and thus define their pre-development structure. Here we propose a new classification system for California estuaries based on the geomorphic history and the dominant physical processes that govern the formation of the estuary space or volume within them. The classification system uses geologic origin, exposure to littoral process, and watershed size and runoff characteristics as the basis of a conceptual model that predicts likely frequency and duration of closure of the estuary mouth. We then begin to validate the proposed model by investigating historical documentation of three representative estuaries to determine if their pre-development condition was consistent with the structure predicted by the classification. In application of the model, eight closure states, based on elevation of barriers to tidal access, were defined. These states can be determined from historic, maps descriptions and photography. These states are then used to validate models of closure state frequency for different classes of estuaries based on the classification. Application of the classification model suggests that under natural conditions, the vast majority of California estuaries experience some degree of closure, and most spend a preponderance of time in the closed condition. In this state, stream flow rather than tidal influence is the most critical variable controlling mouth opening. Individual estuaries exist in a variety of closure states over multiyear to multi-decadal time frames. An estuary may exist in a given closure state for periods of time ranging from days to years. The distribution of closure states for an estuary over time can be used to guide management decisions based on dominant closure and hydrodynamics of the system. Success of future estuarine restoration projects could be improved by incorporating consideration of mouth closure dynamics.
Leslie Abramson, Elizabeth Petras
USCSG-TR-01-2009 - Link
In order to facilitate the involvement of the shipping industry as a stakeholder in the process of cooperative policy-making as well as support the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) and the Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) in its efforts to make science-based, cooperative policy decisions the study was undertaken. In it we will identify the social, economic and political constraints influencing the commercial shipping industry through interaction with the Southern California Marine Exchange, Terminal Operators and Shipping Agents in the Port of Long Beach. It is intended to clarify the various jurisdictions and stakeholders involved in commercial shipping behavior within Santa Barbara Channel and outline possible actions which could be implemented by these groups and agencies. The research will compile and analyze potential management actions in terms of economic and political feasibility versus expected ecological benefits. Is the potential risk reduction worth the cost to industry? Is it possible to create effective outreach and education materials for both the SAC and the shipping industry?
Sea Grant and the California Department of Fish and Game are partners
on a new brochure for anglers, explaining how and why to return rockfish
to depth quickly.
A PDF of the brochure can be downloaded at no cost. You may also request
a hardcopy by mail. Contact: Christina S. Johnson, 858-822-5334,
This brochure was a collaborative effort of California Sea Grant, Oregon
Sea Grant and University of Southern California Sea Grant. Printing
was funded by the California Department of Fish and Game.
Steve N. Murray, Linda Fernandez, José A. Zertuche-González
USCSG-TR-02-2007 - Link
This report was prepared for the Commission on Environmental Cooperation at the request of Hans Hermann, Head of the CEC’s Conservation of Biodiversity Program. The goals of this report were to review the status of knowledge concerning invasive seaweeds for the Pacific coast of North America and to analyze the potential threats to the environment posed by these species; in additional, the aim was to examine selected policies and to suggest possible policy options for improving the ability of Canada, Mexico and the United States to address these threats. The contents of this report, including its recommendations, solely represent the opinions and findings of he authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Commission on Environmental Cooperation or the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Lameka, R.A.; Van Arsdol, Jr., M. D.; Constable, A.; Davis, W. J.; Fippinger, P. B.; Kopetski, M.A.; LaBrash, J.A.; Levey, J.L.; Pederson, K.K.; Stark, C.P.; Walsh, E.K.; Mageean, D.M.
USCSG-R-07-2003 - Link
USCSG-TR-01-2003 - PDF
USCSG-TR-01-2001 - Link
Highlights presents survey results and their implications for public policy and future research. These should be of particular interest to museums, aquariums, and educators who develop environmental education and outreach materials for diverse public audiences. The contents of the series will be electronically mailed periodically over a period of four months, starting with this introductory issue. The complete collection is available here at the USC SeaGrant website.
D.M. Mageean, A. Constable, and M. D. Van Arsdol
Nicole Ricci, Maurice D. Van Arsdol, Jr., Angela Constable, Deirdre M. Mageea
USCSG-R-02-2003 - Link
Darwin C. Hall, Jane V. Hall and Steven N. Murray
USCSG-R-01-2002 - Link
Maurice D. Van Arsdol, Jr., et. al.
USCSG-R-02-2001 - Link
Murray, Steven N., Teri Gibson Denis, Janine S. Kido, and Jayson R. Smith
CalCOFl Rep., 40(1999): 100-106.
USCSG-R-05-2000 - PDF
Ocean Development & International Law 31(2000): 183-195.
USCSG-R-04-2000 - Link