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

Thermal Displacement by Marine Heatwaves

A new paper shows ocean heatwaves displace surface isotherms by tens to thousands of kilometers - comparable to shifts associated with long-term warming trends - potentially driving rapid redistributions of marine species.


2020 Ecosystem Status Report Released

The California Current Ecosystem Status Report provides the Pacific Fishery Management Council and the public with a snapshot of the health of the California Current Ecosystem.


Whale Entanglements and Marine Heatwaves

Recently published research examines unprecedented ecological changes leading to record whale entanglements, and highlights collaborative solutions for minimizing them in the future.


California Current Ecosystem Status Report for 2019 - Now Available

This technical memo features a suite of ecosystem indicators and analyses, co-developed by the CCIEA team and PFMC, representing our best understanding of environmental, ecological, and socioeconomic conditions roughly through the end of 2018.


Marine Top Predators as Ecosystem Sentinels

A recently published review paper highlights the ability for highly mobile predators to serve a role as ecosystem sentinels by integrating the ocean processes around them.

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. Eventually known as "the blob", that basin-scale marine heat wave was unique in the history of monitoring in the California Current and persisted until mid-2016. Read about the new tool NOAA IEA scientists have developed to track marine heatwaves


Other CCIEA Projects
California Current