Map of the Southern California Region
The Southern California Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) provides coverage from Point Conception south to the Mexico border.
The principal goal of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) is to provide observations and data products to a diverse stakeholder community of managers and planners, operational decision makers, scientists, and the general public. As the regional observing system for Southern California, SCCOOS has developed the capabilities to support short-term decision-making and long-term assessment by implementing and leveraging biological, chemical, and physical observations, many of which are available in near real-time.
SCCOOS has aligned its organizational priorities and objectives with the focus areas designated by the National Federation of Regional Associations for Ocean Observing:
SCCOOS continues its work with local, state, and federal agencies, resource managers, industry, policy-makers, educators, scientists, non-governmental organizations, and the public to make ocean and coastal data and information more widely available in a variety of formats. These efforts will ensure that products are useful and easy to access, while preserving the necessary detail to support the scientific and educational communities. SCCOOS continues to explore new visualizations and technologies to make data and products more comprehensible and widely available. In order to achieve an effective outreach and education strategy that fully engages a wide range of audiences, SCCOOS focuses on developing projects through partnerships on the local, regional, and national levels. SCCOOS collaborates with the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) on statewide issues and formed a Joint Strategic Advisory Committee, of users and stakeholders across the state, to create a unified and coordinated approach to ocean observing in California. SCCOOS is also committed to contributing to larger ocean observing collaborations regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Aerial photograph of a dense bloom of Lingulodinium polyedrum off southern California in the summer of 2005. The dark red discoloration of the water is why this is often called a "Red Tide." Photo credit: Eddie Kisfaludy.
During the last week of September, red to brownish-red discolored waters became more evident as the bloom of Lingulodinium polyedrum continues along the coast of San Diego County. Areas where the red waters are observed during the day can bioluminesce at night, producing a striking blue color when agitated from breaking waves, swimming fishes, and even the movement of your hands and feet.
Sampling efforts by SCCOOS Harmful Algal Bloom researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography have found cell abundances of this dinoflagellate to be over 1 million cells/liter and chlorophyll values at 43.92 mg/m3 at Scripps Pier in La Jolla (average values range from 0-1,000 cells/L of L. polyedrum and 2.49 mg/m3 for chlorophyll). This bloom began near the end of August and could last for several weeks to a couple of months.
Further information is available at:
Harmful Algae & Red Tide Regional Monitoring Program of the Southern California Region (SCCOOS)
Among the data, tools, and products made available by the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System are:
Julie Thomas, Executive Director
Fact Sheet, 2012 (pdf)
IOOS in Action: California (pdf)