USC Sea Grant is focused on the complex problems and opportunities presented in our Urban Ocean environment. The Southern California region, representing one of the country's "major megacities," offers innumerable opportunities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the coast and ocean, through beach recreation, fishing and diving, and the many ecosystem services the ocean provides us. Yet, having this urbanized coast poses considerable challenges for maintaining and conserving coastal and ocean resources while acknowledging the many pressures upon their uses.

Descriptions of our strategic focus areas, along with associated goals and desired outcomes, that align with our 2018-2021 Strategic Plan may be found here.

In this section, we provide more information about the projects we currently fund and have previously funded, our outreach and technical assistance, and our education efforts. We organize this information by the focus areas listed below.  We also have a list of currently funded projects and a complete research project database.

Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning

USC Sea Grant funds research and develops outreach and education products to understand the impact of climate change on the biology and chemistry of the ocean. Similarly, we work with local and state governments to help coastal managers adapt to the impacts of climate change. Learn more...

Coastal Ecosystems Science

USC Sea Grant's vision is for a healthier urban environment, reflected by cleaner coastal waters that afford better opportunities for recreation and commerce and the protection of human and ecosystem health. We focus our Coastal Ecosystems Program on Marine Protected Areas, Harmful Algal Blooms, Coastal Ecology & Biology, Aquatic Invasive Species, Water Quality and Toxicology. Learn more...

Coastal Management Policy and Planning

There are 17 million residents who live in the counties that comprise the Southern California urban watershed – the region served by the University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant program. With 75% of California's population living within coastal communities it is critical to address the ever-increasing challenges to coastal cities and ecosystems. We focus our Coastal Management Program on Coastal Hazard Planning, Sustainable Coastal Development, and Marine Spatial Planning. Learn more...

Maritime Transportation, Security and Port Development

The twin ports at Los Angeles and long Beach constitute the busiest seaport complex in the U.S. and close to 45% of all marine freight entering the country comes ashore through the two. While contributing to a vibrant economy with an estimated 960,000 jobs in the region directly or indirectly related to the goods movement system, nevertheless, movement of such massive volumes of goods also creates environmental impacts, mainly in degraded air quality and traffic congestion. USC Sea Grant promotes science and policy research addressing these challenges and assists the public and its policy makers to find an optimal balance between economic development and environmental protection. Moreover, Sea Grant outreach provides advice, analysis and science to the ports as they move forward with sustainable coastal development policies. Our Maritime Affairs Programs focuses on Port Development, Maritime Transportation, Maritime Security, and Alta Sea. Learn more...

Aquaculture and Fisheries - Science and Management

Southern California has witnessed the decline of fisheries over several decades. This is of particular concern in the LA region's urban ocean where environmental impacts from increased runoff and pollution, as well as increased recreational fishing, negatively impact fish stocks, such as in the case of the spotted sand bass. Protecting ecosystems by designating marine protected areas through the California Marine Life Protected Act (MLPA) will abet some commercial and recreational fisheries management tools. Developing well-designed aquaculture projects will also help to mediate recreational and commercial fishing pressure on local fishery stocks. Our Aquaculture & Fisheries program focuses on Aquaculture, Seafood Safety, and Fisheries Science.  Learn more...

  • USC Sea Grant
  • 3454 Trousdale Pkwy, CAS 200
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0373
  • (213) 740 - 1961