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Because our oceans face so many challenges, we work to help shape ocean management to reduce threats and ensure sustainable human uses, giving time for wildlife to adapt to climate change.
We invite agencies, universities, NGOs, and other partners to collaborate with us to conduct applied science and implement actions that protect biodiversity, aesthetic value, and recreational uses, while promoting sustainable fisheries, alternative energy, carbon sequestration, water quality, and habitat connectivity.
Our work is focused on sustainable fisheries and improved ocean zoning strategies that protect wildlife and ecosystems by engaging decision makers and the public in support of healthy oceans.
We take an ecosystem approach to protecting fisheries. We conduct the science needed to sustain the integrity of marine ecosystems for wildlife and people.
Our work focuses on understanding the complex ecological relationships between marine life species and providing recommendations to ensure healthy fish and wildlife populations while allowing for human needs.
Informed Ocean Zoning
Alternative energy installations and commercial shipping are just a couple of the activities that can have an impact on marine wildlife. Point Blue’s long-term research and monitoring makes us well-positioned to help guide these important ocean management decisions. Our results have already identified areas of high use for whales, which have helped guide where shipping lanes should be placed to reduce ship strikes to whales. Identifying where wildlife and human activities overlap is key to finding solutions that work for both people and wildlife.
We’re proud and honored to be protecting and conserving the largest seabird colony south of Alaska with over 350,000 breeding seabirds, as well as more than 5,000 seals and sea lions. We’re working to understand and predict the effects of a changing climate and other environmental conditions on island wildlife and initiate effective conservation and management actions. Since 1968, we’ve been conducting research on this National Wildlife Refuge, in close collaboration with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We document population dynamics, diet composition, and reproductive success of 13 seabird species, 5 seal and sea lion species, and white sharks.
Gulf of the Farallones
The Gulf of the Farallones, bounded by the Golden Gate Bridge, Drakes Bay, and the Farallon Islands, is a global hot spot for marine wildlife. This is because it’s a key upwelling area, where winds help deliver cold, nutrient-rich waters to the ocean’s surface to feed small plant cells called phytoplankton that fuel the entire marine food web, including krill, fish, birds, and whales. Along with our on-island research, we’re also conducting in-depth, long-term studies on these gulf waters.
Point Blue studies marine bird communities along the coast of California to inform resource management and guide actions to reduce human impacts on wildlife populations.
The research places emphasis on comparing marine bird colonies inside and outside state Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to determine how human activities and changes in the amount of availble food impact these populations.
This research informs management actions aimed at recovering endangered species as well as guiding future management of California MPAs. In addition, we raise awareness among key coastal user groups to minimize future human-caused disturbances.
We are investigating how Adélie Penguins cope with changes to their environment, including those brought about by growing fisheries and global climate change. We helped facilitate a collaboration of more than 50 researchers from six countries to establish the scientific basis for the Ross Sea marine protected area—one of the largest ever proposed. The present phase of the project was initiated in 1996 in collaboration with H.T. Harvey and Associates, Oregon State University, and Landcare Research in New Zealand, and with financial support provided by the National Science Foundation. Visit Penguin Science to learn more.
Ocean Research Opportunities
Interested in ocean research? There are several opportunities to help you gain experience and knowledge of the marine ecosystem. Internships on the Farallon Islands and Antarctica are field research opportunities, while the Marine Lab (located at our Petaluma headquarters) provides research opportunities in a laboratory setting.
Oil Spill Response
Point Blue scientists are trained and ready to respond in the event of a local or international oil spill. Our team was formalized in 1994 under contract with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response.
In the event of an oil spill in California, we conduct “wildlife processing,” which includes species identification, evidence collection, and data collection from all wildlife collected during a spill. We also help in the field with search and collection efforts for oiled wildlife. We conduct these activities as part of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (UC Davis).
If you observe live or dead oiled wildlife in California, call the Oiled Wildlife Sightings Hotline: 1-877-823-6926 (1-877-UCD-OWCN)