Coastal Marine Ecosystems

Science Center Objects

USGS scientists, in collaboration with key partners, assess ecological patterns and processes within important ecological systems, such as Coastal Marine Ecosystems, to understand the status and trends of organisms and habitats at large spatial scales to support restoration of these important ecological systems.

Information about Status and Trends program Coastal Marine Ecosystems research is available from  the "Related Science" tab on the top navigation or from the links below.


Bewick's Wren
Bewick's Wren. USGS and the Smithsonian are using genetic data to document patterns of endonism of Bewick's Wren in the Channel Islands.(Credit: Peter Pearsall, USFWS. Public domain.)

Assisting Ecosystem Management on the Channel Islands

Science Center: Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Issues on the Channel Islands are being addressed by a multidisciplinary team of biologists, geologists, anthropologists, and land managers representing the Smithsonian, USGS, National Park Service, NGOs, and universities. The team is providing information to land managers on the islands’ historical vegetation at various times in the past; patterns of endemism of birds, mammals, and other fauna and flora on the islands; and the effects of past climate change on the islands. 

► Learn more about the Channel Islands


Observing sea otters foraging in Southeast Alaska
Scientists observe sea otters foraging in Southeast Alaska. Photo credit: USGS(Public domain.)

Nearshore Marine Ecosystem Research Program

Science Center: Alaska Science Center

Our research is designed to evaluate sources of variation in the nearshore and how they influence resources of high conservation interest. Our studies address community members at every trophic level, ranging from intertidal macroalgae and kelps to benthic invertebrates to top-level predators such as sea otters, black oystercatchers, and sea ducks. 

► Learn more about Nearshore ecosystems in Alaska


Lake Erie algal bloom
Landsat satellites captured this image of Lake Erie during a harmful algal bloom event.(Public domain.)

Coastal Eutrophication and Hypoxia Modeling: Forecasting and Cross-System Comparison

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

USGS scientists are developing and improving forecasting models that can be used for annual forecasts, management scenario exploration, and cross-system comparisons; determining historical changes in hypoxia sensitivity and the causes for these changes; and determining the factors that influence ecosystem sensitivity of eutrophication and hypoxia to nutrient loading using cross-system comparisons.

► Learn more about coastal eutrophication


Coastal Ecosystems: Ecological Processes

Science Center: Great Lakes Science Center

USGS is examining ecological processes at work in western Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay, and rivermouth ecosystems (such as where the Maumee River empties into Lake Erie) to fill in knowledge gaps and improve ecosystem characterization, monitoring, and prediction efforts, as needed.

► Learn more about coastal ecological processes


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