About the Coastal Center

The Coastal Center was formed in 2002 to encompass all IoES activities that involve coastal and ocean (marine) resources and environmental issues, including coastal watersheds and wetlands

About the Coastal Center Photo credit: Flickr, Slices of Life

Coastal regions play a vital role in the functioning of the ocean ecosystem and in human activities. The coastal biogeochemical system provides thirty percent of the global productivity at the base of the oceanic food chain. Humans have historically settled near the ocean to have access to seagoing transportation, coastal fisheries, opportunities for recreation, and a place to dispose of unwanted wastes.

Today more than half of the population if the United States lives within 50 miles of the shoreline.

Faculty and researchers affiliated with the center come from a disciplines ranging from environmental engineering to marine biology.

The Coastal Center affiliates have conducted research into physical, chemical, and biological phenomena in the coastal zone using facilities such as the Santa Monica Bay Instrumented Mooring, the UCLA Research Vessel Sea World, now retired, and our new high speed Zodiac research vessel. The Center has participated in education and outreach activities including floating classrooms for K-12 students and training cruises for university students and teachers.


The Coastal Center is a charter member of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS), a consortium of academic institutions that is focused on the design and operation of a wide array of systems for making measurements in the coastal ocean. The Center has recently become a member of the Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI).