Sampling event

MARINe/PISCO: Intertidal: MARINe Coastal Biodiversity Surveys: Point Contact Surveys Summarized

Latest version published by United States Geological Survey on 03 May 2023 United States Geological Survey
Publication date:
03 May 2023
CC-BY 4.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 372 records in English (4 MB) - Update frequency: unknown
Metadata as an EML file download in English (14 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (10 KB)


Long-Term Monitoring and Biodiversity Surveys done by the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe) occur throughout the year at sites ranging from Southeast Alaska to Mexico. Long Term Monitoring surveys assess within-site community change over time, while Biodiversity surveys were designed to capture among-site patterns of community structure (abundance and spatial distribution of species). In combination, the long-term, targeted species approach and the biodiversity surveys provide a wealth of information about the structure and dynamics of rocky intertidal communities along the Pacific Coast of North America.

This metadata record documents the Point Contact surveys for the MARINe Biodiversity Surveys. Biodiversity surveys are comprised of four components, all sampled along the same transects: (1) point contact estimates of intertidal cover and substrate characteristics, (2) swath transects to estimate the density of seastars and abalone, (3) quadrat sampling to estimate the density of mobile invertebrates, and (4) topography (elevation relative to mean low low water (mllw)). Selected sites are resampled on a 3-5 year cycle. A site is defined as a contiguous rocky bench of at least 30m. Point Contact sampling consists of recording the diversity and abundance of invertebrates and algae along 11 transects of variable length extending from the upper intertidal to the low intertidal.

Please note that species of concern have been removed from all public datasets, as well as data from sites funded by the National Park Service (NPS) and the United States Navy. For a comprehensive dataset, please contact the data set owner(s). For more information about the data described in this metadata record, please visit

The long-term California MPA boundary and project info tables referenced in this dataset can be found as a separate dataset here:

Data Records

The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 372 records.

2 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Event (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe), Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), Raimondi P (2023). MARINe/PISCO: Intertidal: MARINe Coastal Biodiversity Surveys: Point Contact Surveys Summarized. Version 1.1. United States Geological Survey. Samplingevent dataset.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is United States Geological Survey. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 58ffefab-20aa-4cec-b0c0-dd7330ed7280.  United States Geological Survey publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.


Ocean; Intertidal Processes; Intertidal Zone; Marine Biology; Marine Invertebrates; Marine Plants; Marine Habitat; Biosphere; Aquatic Habitats; Coastal Habitat; Community Survey Data; Intertidal Data; Intertidal Community Survey Data; Intertidal Coastal Biodiversity Survey; SWAT Survey; Baseline MPA monitoring; Long-term MPA monitoring; Marine Protected Area (MPA); Biological data; Central Coast; North Central Coast; North Coast; South Coast; Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe); Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO); Algae; Invertebrates; Samplingevent

External data

The resource data is also available in other formats


Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe)
Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO)
Pete Raimondi
  • Originator
Univeristy of California, Santa Cruz
Rani Gaddam
  • Point Of Contact
Research Associate
MARINe/PISCO Research Group at UC Santa Cruz
Melissa Miner
  • Point Of Contact
Research Associate
MARINe/PISCO Research Group at UC Santa Cruz
Dave Lohse
Univeristy of California, Santa Cruz
Abby Benson
  • Publisher
U.S. Geological Survey
Marine Lebrec
  • Processor
Data Specialist
Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System
Mathew Biddle
  • Distributor
Physical Scientist
United States Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (US MBON)

Geographic Coverage

Long Term Monitoring surveys are done at sites ranging from southeast Alaska to southern California. For more information see

Bounding Coordinates South West [33.385, -135.323], North East [57.049, -118.475]

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2001-02-05 / 2021-07-26

Project Data

MARINe is a partnership of agencies, universities, and private groups who conduct long-term monitoring of rocky intertidal ecosystems on the US West Coast

Title Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network
Funding Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, National Park Service, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, State of California Ocean Protection Council, United States Navy

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers 58ffefab-20aa-4cec-b0c0-dd7330ed7280