Open Access

In situ studies of the interface of natural and man-made systems in a metropolitan harbor

  • B. C. Abbott1,
  • D. F. Soule1,
  • M. Oguri1 and
  • J. D. Soule1
Helgoländer wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen24:BF01609534


1. The Los Angeles-Long Beach, California, Harbor underwent its first major development early in the twentieth century. It is now the third largest port in the United States, a focal point for seven million southern California residents.

2. Pressures for pollution abatement and for development of a deeper water port make an integrated research program necessary.

3. Allan Hancock Foundation personnel have undertaken a comprehensive study with support from the federal Sea Grant Program, private industry and local harbor departments.

4. Plankton-productivity, marine and public health microbiology, midwater settling rack fauna, benthic fauna, water quality parameters, circulation patterns, and sediment content have been sampled.

5. Sequence of red tide and other phytoplankton blooms have been postulated and predicted.

6. Plankton-settling volumes have been good indicators of short-term stress or pollution.

7. Settling racks suspended monthly have shown a much greater diversity of species and higher categories present in the water column than are present in polluted bottom muds.

8. Some 60 species of 30 polychaete families were taken in bottom samples throughout the harbor.

9. Settling rack sampling measures relatively short-term stress and benthic sampling is a good indicator of longer-term stress.