Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network
Monitoring Project

Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research and Education (CICORE)

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Newell Garfield
    San Francisco State University
  • Mark Moline
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Mitch Craig
    California State University, Hayward
  • Greg Crawford
    Humboldt State University
  • Stephen Bollens
    San Francisco State University
  • Edward Carpenter
    San Francisco State University
  • RIchard Dugdale
    San Francisco State University
  • Dale Robinson
    San Francisco State University
  • Frances Wilkerson
    San Francisco State University
  • Paul Bissett
    Florida Environmental Research Institute
  • Rikk Kvitek
    California State University, Monterey Bay
Start Date: August 01, 2001

The California State University (CSU) California Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research and Education (CI-CORE) is an applied coastal research consortium dedicated to producing nationally relevant solutions to the many challenges facing our marine and estuarine environments. CI-CORE accomplishes this task by managing a distributed network of coastal observatories that address economically and environmentally important challenges including: coastal erosion, watershed impacts, chemical contamination of food webs, depletion of fish stocks, toxic plankton blooms, marine-borne pathogens, and the rapid invasion of coastal and estuarine waters by non-indigenous species.

The CI-CORE program’s primary goals are to provide timely and appropriate environmental data and analyses to scientists, agencies and the public for policy development and to evaluate the effectiveness of coastal and environmental policy. CI-CORE also provides near real-time, publicly accessible, internet-based products developed from data colledcted by observatory sensors.

The CI-CORE program specializes in three high resolution technologies:

(1) In situ time series monitoring data are collected at all participating California State University (CSU) coastal campuses. These data include measurements of core variables recommended by the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and OCEAN.US, and support site-specific local observations.

(2) Hyperspectral images are acquired from aircraft-flown sensors to map sensitive nearshore ecosystems for temporal comparisons (Figure 1).

(3) Seafloor habitat mapping is incorporated into a marine environment GIS tool for research and regulatory needs (Figure 2).

Summary to Date

CI-CORE research progress as of January 2005 includes:

1. The seafloor mapping group continues to expand bathymetric mapping along the California Coast. A significant accomplishment is the first bathymetric survey of the entrance to the Golden Gate since the 1950s (Figure 2). This survey, done in conjunction with the USGS, was carried out to assist with a study of the wave regime and sediment movement at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. The new data reveal that dramatic changes have occurred at the SF Bay mouth since the last bathymetric survey conducted over 50 years ago. Upwards of 6 m of shoaling has occurred in the vicinity of the Army Corps of Engineers (COE) dredge spoil site, and new patterns in sand bar formation, seen for the first time in the bathymetry, explain the increased beach erosion. The tidal migration of massive dune fields at the bay mouth was also observed and quantified for the first time. These data are being used to develop and refine sediment transport and current models used by USGS and COE to maintain the SF Bay entrance channel, adopt new dredge spoil disposal strategies and create a beach replenishment program to halt further erosion of Ocean Beach.

In addition to the field surveys, the seafloor mapping group has continued development of its web portal for data access. Three different approaches to web accessible databases for serving raster, vector and point GIS data products have been implemented, evaluated and populated. A terabyte of seafloor mapping data is now available via two different servers:

ESRI ARCIMS server –

HTTP download site –

The ARCIMS site enables the user to access and view GIS data layers interactively from any web browser or to add content as view-only layers to an ArcGIS project on their local machine. Once the user has identified the content that they need using ARCIMS, they can then retrieve the data files or full ArcGIS projects to their local computer.

2. During October-November 2004 CI-CORE collected hyperspectral imagery (HSI) data over portions of the California coast between Humboldt Bay in the north and the Tijuana River Estuary in the south providing an unprecedented, unique coastal observation data set. A total of seven sites were imaged, covering an area of 5,460 km2. This is a two-fold increase in coverage from previous years and brings the total HSI imagery to 9,775 km2 of coverage (Figure 3). San Francisco Bay was imaged for the second time, and Monterey, Estero and San Luis Obispo Bays for the third time. The collect covered Humboldt Bay, all three California National Estuarine Research Reserves (NOAA NERR: San Francisco Bay, Elkhorn Slough and Tijuana Estuary), Morro Bay which is part of the National Estuary Program, the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, the NSF-funded Long Term Ecological Research site (LTER) in Santa Barbara Channel and portions of the four NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries located in California waters (Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones, Monterey Bay and Channel Islands). CI-CORE is building partnerships with all these programs through our HSI component and the products derived from these data.

3. Incorporation of a multispectral imager with four times greater spatial resolution with the hyperspectral imager.

4. Development of a kelp coverage product and increased wetlands hyperspectral coverage.

5. Expansion of in situ monitoring from four to six sites with the inclusion of South San Francisco Bay and Long Beach Harbor.


For the most recent information on CI-CORE, visit this web site:

Study Parameters

  • Optical properties
  • Temperature
  • Currents
  • Density
  • Salinity
  • Wind
  • Turbidity
  • Chl A
  • N
  • Erosion
  • Sedimentation
  • Turbidity
  • Substrate characterization
  • phytoplankton and zooplankton
  • red tides

Study Methods

Please refer to the individual web pages

Figures and Images

Figure 1: Conceptual model of coastal ocean imaging spectroscopy as used by CI-CORE.

Figure 2. New multibeam bathymetry data for San Francisco Bay mouth being processed by CSUMB CI-CORE personnel and students for USGS and US Army Corps of Engineers. These results will be available on the CI-CORE on-line database.

Figure 3: Map showing the locations and extent of hyperspectral imagery collected by CI-CORE during the fall of 2004.