Effective management and conservation of natural resources, like our oceans, requires ecosystem-scale strategies based on sound, current and robust science that are built to adapt to change.  

The Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies, or ACCESS, is a partnership that supports marine wildlife conservation and healthy marine ecosystems in northern and central California by conducting research to inform resource managers, policy makers and conservation partners.

ACCESS focuses on the oceanic habitats in Federal and State waters of northern and central California, encompassing NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary waters and potential National Marine Sanctuary expansion south of Point Arena.

Visit the ACCESS partnership website to learn more, explore tools and get involved.

Protecting Whales

The rich ocean environment off the San Francisco Bay region supplies abundant food for whales, porpoises, and other wildlife that migrate here from across the Pacific. These same waters are the site of major shipping lanes, with increasing traffic over recent years resulting in multiple whale strikes. Our collaborative at-sea studies with NOAA marine sanctuaries are contributing to recommendations for modifying shipping traffic near the Golden Gate to better protect whales.

Read news coverage on this exciting topic.

Visit the Whale Alert- West Coast partnership website.

Whale Spotter App

Point Blue Scientists, in partnership with Conserve IO, have created a new smartphone device called the Spotter Pro App.  The app is intended for use by researchers, commercial ship operators, charter fishing boat operators, whale watching naturalists, and recreational and commercial fishers to document whale sightings in real-time.  The crowdsourced data will be checked and refined by aerial surveys and observations from Point Blue biologists on land at the Southeast Farallon Island and by other biologists at sea on marine surveying cruises.  The data will then provide the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service with the information they need to recommend that shipping traffic reroute to an alternate traffic lane if whales are feeding in the lane, or reduce vessel speed.

Press Release: Point Blue and National Marine Sanctuary scientists field-test the beta version of a new "Whale Spotter" app