Study completed to characterize benthic infaunal communities living in Bight continental slope

Posted August 7, 2019

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and SCCWRP have completed a three-year project to comprehensively characterize sediment-dwelling infaunal communities that live in the continental slope region of the Southern California Bight, the first such regional-scale effort since the 1950s.

The study, which will be published in a BOEM technical report in the coming weeks, is a first step toward potentially developing biology-based condition assessment tools for these understudied but important habitats. The continental slope, which connects the continental shelf to the deep ocean floor, comprises more than 60% of the Bight’s marine habitat.

Researchers identified three distinct reference condition habitats using multiple data sets collected by the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program and SCCWRP member agencies.

BOEM oversees a number of industries that span Southern California’s continental slope, including offshore oil and gas platforms, wind turbines and aquaculture.

More news related to: Bioassessment, Indices of Biotic Integrity