The Santa Barbara Channel Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (SBC MBON) is designed to provide a complete picture of marine biodiversity in the region. SBC MBON is developing a widely applicable research model that integrates new information with existing data to improve current research and monitoring programs and provide greater insight into marine biodiversity.

Millions of dollars are spent annually monitoring marine resources, however, such efforts are uncoordinated and have major information gaps. We are developing a scalable and reproducible Marine Biodiversity Observation Network using the Santa Barbara Channel as a case study. This network will connect existing marine monitoring efforts in the Santa Barbara Channel and work to fill information gaps.

Focusing on the Santa Barbara Channel allows our researchers to explore marine biodiversity from whole marine ecosystem level all the way to the smallest microbe communities. The ability to study such a range of biodiversity is due to the extensive amount of existing biological monitoring and research programs conducted by our partners. Yet even with the extensive research being conducted in the Santa Barbara Channel, there are still information gaps. To fill these gaps, SBC MBON is testing novel methods for monitoring biodiversity, including automated image analysis and genomics.

SBC MBON is one of four demonstration marine biodiversity observation networks established in the United States to build a better understanding of marine health and biodiversity on a global scale.

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