Threats to coastal oceans are increasing—climate change, ocean acidification, unsustainable fishing practices, pollution, habitat destruction, and coastal development all threaten the ability of marine ecosystems to deliver valuable services. In the face of these new and growing threats, marine resource managers are exploring new tools to manage marine ecosystems including ecosystem-based management, fishery regulation, and marine protected areas.

Over the last 10 years, the PISCO consortium has provided the underlying scientific information and long term perspective to guide choices about sustainable use of the marine ecosystems along the west coast of the U.S. PISCO’s focus on integrating science over spatial scales that are the most relevant to marine species and management provides a timely model for delivering innovative solutions to managing the nation’s changing coasts.

The Future

Over the next 5 years, PISCO plans to continue building the science of marine reserves but also embrace new challenges, specifically focusing on the topics of climate change and sustainable use of marine resources.  Each topic will be informed by PISCO’s expertise, large marine ecosystem focus, time series, policy and outreach capabilities, and partnerships. 

PISCO’s focus on integrating biological and physical approaches from genes to ecosystems will enrich understanding of all three topics and the deliver useful knowledge to support key societal decisions about climate change and management in the coastal ocean.


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