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Nearshore ecosystems in the Gulf of Alaska

June 30, 2023

Nearshore ecosystem monitoring in western Prince William Sound, Kenai Fjords National Park, Kachemak Bay, and Katmai National Park and Preserve has been conducted as a single Nearshore Component of the Gulf Watch Alaska program over the past five years (2017-2021). This program builds on the previous five years and continues, in many cases, decades of preceding research and monitoring. During the 2017-2021 period of Gulf Watch Alaska, we successfully collected data on more than 200 nearshore metrics across all regions. These metrics were explicitly selected because of their value as trophically-connected features that offer insights into causes of changes through bottom-up and top-down forces within the nearshore food web. During these past 5 years, this study design has been applied to documenting and understanding several perturbations, including the Pacific Marine Heatwave and loss of sea stars due to sea star wasting. Continued monitoring will allow for a better understanding of change in nearshore ecosystems across the Gulf of Alaska and the status of spill injured resources, including greater perspective on oil spill effects and recovery relative to other types of perturbations. This information will be critical for anticipating and responding to ongoing and future changes in the region, as well as providing data for understanding global-scale variation in marine environments.

Publication Year 2023
Title Nearshore ecosystems in the Gulf of Alaska
Authors Heather A. Coletti, Daniel Esler, Brenda Ballachey, Jim Bodkin, George G. Esslinger, Kimberly A. Kloecker, Daniel Monson, Brian H. Robinson, Sarah Beth Traiger, Katrin Iken, Brenda Konar, Tom Dean, Mandy Lindeberg, Ben Weitzman
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Index ID 70247808
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center Ecosystems