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California Current Regional Ecosystem

Learn more about the California Current, a dynamic and diverse ecosystem in the eastern North Pacific Ocean.

Big Sur coastline

Within U.S. waters, the California Current Regional Ecosystem runs from the southernmost point of California, up through northern Washington. This dynamic and diverse upwelling current system is highly productive and extraordinarily biodiverse, and serves as foraging habitat for many species of highly migratory fish, marine mammals, and seabirds that travel across the vast Pacific Ocean basin. This ecosystem supports an important ocean economy, including recreational and commercial fishing, tourism, shipping, military training, and emerging ocean aquaculture and offshore wind. West Coast land-based urban and agricultural development has led to pollution and habitat degradation in nearshore and marine waters, which exacerbate the rising effects of climate change.