Using ecosystem-based management to connect science with marine resource management and policy

The Morro Bay estuary and marine environments along the Central Coast are some of the most ecologically important areas on the Pacific Coast. The diverse natural resources include critical habitats that are home to important plant and animal species, and support local fishing and tourism industries.

Historically, separate agencies with individual jurisdictions and responsibilities have managed these coastal resources. However, a more integrated, holistic approach to management of the ocean and coastline is necessary to address the complex list of factors that affect the health of the entire ecosystem. This approach will require improved scientific understanding and increased levels of collaboration.

The San Luis Obispo Science and Ecosystem Alliance (SLOSEA) formed in 2006 and brings an integrated, holistic approach to the management of marine resources on the Central Coast of California. SLOSEA engages scientific experts, resource managers, county officials and community leaders in applying innovative science to gain real-life solutions to the biggest issues facing the Central Coast and many other coastal communities.