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.


News and Highlights

Emergence of New Marine Heatwave

Researchers are monitoring a new marine heatwave off the West Coast for effects on the marine ecosystem. Read more


New Ecological Risk Assessment to Support California Fisheries Management

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is using a new risk assessment tool to evaluate the potential risk that fishing poses to target species, bycatch species, and habitat. Read more


Release of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report

A new report, developed in partnership with CCIEA scientists, evaluates key indicators of the sanctuary. Read more

Featured Project: An experimental tool for tracking marine heatwaves


Comparative images of warmwater anomalies in spring 2015 versus summer 2019

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


Other CCIEA Projects

California Current