Bight Program Data Portal

The Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring program is an ongoing marine monitoring collaboration that examines how human activities have affected the ecological health of more than 1,500 square miles of Southern California’s coastal waters. With nearly 100 organizations pooling their resources and expertise to support the program, participants depend on a robust data management plan to help them design studies, analyze and synthesize data, and interpret findings.

SCCWRP, as facilitator of the Bight regional monitoring program, manages all of the databases, analysis tools, and protocols used by program participants. Underlying this complex array of data management activities is a continuous focus on improving the quality, consistency and speed of data collection and analysis. At the initiation of each five-year Bight program cycle, SCCWRP and its collaborators seek to develop more streamlined data management workflows and more managerially relevant data visualization capabilities.

How Bight data sets are managed and presented

While Bight datasets have traditionally been housed in static databases on local servers, advances in geospatial software technologies have enabled Bight data to be both managed from and presented using web-based interfaces. The Bight program uses the ArcGIS Open Data Portal from geospatial mapping company Esri to store, analyze and map data sets. Bight data sets that predate the Open Data Portal will continue to be available in static databases; the Bight program, however, is committed to uploading data from older Bight surveys over time.

Given the powerful analytical capabilities of the Open Data Portal, the Bight program is no longer restricted to publishing only raw data. Indeed, multiple data sets spanning multiple Bight program cycles can be overlaid on one another to illuminate important spatial and temporal trends. Thus, the data sets presented below encompass both raw data sets and “multi-layered” data sets that Bight participants have compiled.

The Open Data Portal is configured to provide a self-contained viewing experience on an intuitive, easy-to-use web platform used by environmental researchers and managers worldwide. The data sets also are available for download in multiple file formats.

The Bight program data sets presented below will be of most interest to the researchers and environmental managers who already are familiar with the study design and analysis.

Study elements

Sediment Quality: This element, previously known as the Contaminant Impact Assessment element as well as the Coastal Ecology Synthesis element, assesses the condition of Bight sediment quality using five main lines of evidence: sediment toxicity, sediment chemistry, benthic infauna condition, megabenthic invertebrate and demersal fish condition, and contaminant bioaccumulation.

Sediment Toxicity

Sediment Chemistry

Benthic Infauna Condition

Megabenthic Invertebrate and Demersal Fish Condition

Trash: The Trash element documents the spread of trash across aquatic environments, from coastal watersheds to the Bight continental shelf.

Ocean Acidification: This element, previously known as the Water Quality element, explores ways to better measure changing biogeochemical conditions in the Bight.

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