Southern Californians have a long-standing and intimate relationship with their urban seashore. Traditional recreational uses such as beach tourism, surfing, boating, and fishing are important economic and cultural activities throughout the region. Climate change is sure to change how we use our marine recreational resources, in ways that are currently hard to predict. 

Serious impacts of climate change on ocean-related human health issues such as aquatic pathogens and toxins are also possible, as well as a likely need to accommodate coastal habitation, access, and infrastructure to changes in sea level and storm intensity and frequency. Shifting marine food webs in a changing ocean have major implications for California’s valuable fisheries and aquaculture industries, as well as for the basic food security needs of an ever-expanding urban population. Other emerging issues include the increasing use of desalination to meet Southern California’s water needs, which has potential environmental as well as energy consequences.

As such, another important goal of the Climate Change in the Southern California Bight project is to educate the USC family and interested citizens about the impacts of climate change in our region.

We held our first daylong, university-wide educational colloquium on October 19th, 2011 at the Davidson Conference Center on USC's campus. The morning session included a presentation by Dr. Reinhard Flick from Scripps Institution of Oceanography on the impacts of sea-level rise on the Southern California Bight; USC's own Dr. Daniel Mazmanian presented on climate change policy in California.  These two presentations were followed by a hearty panel disucssion on climate adaptation and mitigation. In the afternoon, Dr. Richard Feely of the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Lab discussed the impacts of ocean acidification globally and in the region and Mr. Larry Pryor, of USC's Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication discussed the communication of climate science.  These presentations were again followed by extensive discussion on how climate change communication.  

Video from each presentation as well as the panel discussions are available to view by clicking here

On March 12, 2013, we held a policy colloquium to focus on ocean health and human dimensions in a changing climate.  The goals colloquium were to provide a forum to foster understanding of the interplay among climate change, ocean health and human dimensions; and understanding how social vulnerability can be mitigated through effective adaptation and how communities can build resilience to climate change.

Download colloquium agenda here.  Colloquium presentations can be downloaded below.

Morning Session: Ocean Health in a Changing Climate

Lunch Session

Afternoon Session: Social Vulnerability and Sea Level Rise Planning

For more information on this project, please contact: Dr. Douglas Capone or Dr. David Hutchins.