California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment
The California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (CCIEA) is an interdisciplinary research effort led by NOAA scientists along the U.S. West Coast. Our goal is to provide science support for ecosystem-based management of the California Current—a complex ecosystem in which natural and human systems are inextricably linked.
The California Current marine ecosystem is a highly productive coastal ecosystem in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Seasonal upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water fuels populations of krill, squid, sardines, and other species that are fed upon by larger fishes, seabirds, and marine mammals. The ecosystem supports important fisheries and other activities and provides services for the tens of millions of people living along the West Coast.
Featured Project: An experimental tool for tracking marine heatwaves
In 2014 the ocean along the West Coast of North America experienced abnormally warm temperatures which shifted the distributions of marine life, altered food webs, and fueled blooms of toxic algae. This basin-scale “marine heat wave”, later termed the warm “BLOB”, was unique in the history of monitoring and actually persisted until mid-2016 when it finally was replaced by relatively strong El Niño conditions. Read about the new tool NOAA IEA scientists have developed to track marine heatwaves.