**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>

Here at Ocean Science Trust, we celebrate any and all excuses to head out of Oakland and soak up the surf and sunshine of the South Coast. The February 2016 MARINe (Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network) workshop in San Diego provided the perfect opportunity to don our sunglasses and geek out on rocky intertidal ecosystems.

 

Held at beautiful Cabrillo National Monument, this two-day conference was attended by researchers, managers, and other interested scientists who all share a common interest in rocky intertidal ecosystems on the West Coast. The agenda was jam-packed with over two dozen presentations that shared findings and ideas from the latest research, offered lessons learned from previous monitoring, and gave us an informative primer on Cabrillo National Monument and the MARINe network.

Throughout the workshop, it was incredible to hear scientists report on their findings and collaborate in real time to identify connections across their projects. Erin Meyer (Ocean Science Trust MPA Program Manager) and I learned so much from the talks, which covered a wide range of topics including sea star wasting syndrome, California’s maritime history, and ocean acidification. The workshop featured a keynote talk by West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel member Terrie Klinger. We also learned about the upcoming California Coastal Bioblitz, which is being organized by the California MPA Collaborative Network and California Academy of the Sciences and will occur across the California coast from June 4-12. The workshop also provided Ocean Science Trust with an opportunity to reconnect with members of the South Coast ocean community. Eating lunch on the patio outside and gazing out at the San Diego skyline wasn’t too shabby either! 

Ocean Science Trust is eager to continue learning about the innovative research and new monitoring techniques and strategies taking place in the South Coast. We are especially interested in exploring how this active research connects to Ocean Science Trust’s work in the region. As we look ahead to the coming months, we look forward to spending more time in the South Coast to share the results of the South Coast MPA Baseline Program, and continuing to work in partnership with members of the local ocean community to inform the next phase of MPA monitoring in the South Coast