Thanks for visiting!

This project is now in update mode. Check back regularly to see how things are progressing.

Turning the Tides: SM Bay Ocean Acidification Project

Raised toward our $4,000 Goal
135 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on February 10, at 12:00 AM PST
Project Owners

Turning the Tides: SM Bay Ocean Acidification Project

In November of 2017, thanks to the support of over 57 donors, we raised over $3,000 toward our goal of $4,000. Our mentors have challenged us to raise the remaining $1,000 we need before we can set sail and conduct our research - can you help us by making a gift? Even $5 or $10 brings us closer to the finish line!


photo courtesy of Magnus Manske

We are the UCLA Undergraduate Research Team for Ocean Acidification in the Santa Monica Bay. Our team is working in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES) on our Senior Practicum for Environmental Science. The Practicum Project is designed to give us real world experience working with clients, designing and conducting field research and then finding real-world, applicable solutions to critical environmental problems.

When picturing Santa Monica, what comes to mind first and foremost is the ocean – shops, the ferris wheel, the pier – but mostly the ocean. However, what doesn’t usually come to mind is the toll ocean acidification is taking on the marine life and biodiversity just off our shores. The ocean acts as a carbon sink, absorbing a quarter to a third of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. As humans continue to emit increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, more and more is absorbed into the ocean. Absorbing this carbon dioxide lowers the seawater’s pH and increases the ocean’s acidity. These seemingly slight changes to the chemistry of our oceans threaten to disrupt the delicate balance of ocean life, resulting in habitat destruction and marine life loss. Ocean acidification is a silent, destructive force and eye grabbing headlines about its impacts usually come too late. One of the most tragic examples of this is the death of large sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which is largely due to warming temperatures and increasing acidity. Unfortunately though, ocean acidification affects us here at home as well. We hope to gather data to curb acidification before it becomes too late.

For our project, we are partnering with The Bay Foundation and researchers from UC Davis to identify anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide that are impacting Santa Monica Bay. In addition to global emissions, there are many local, man-made sources of carbon dioxide that can dramatically affect the pH, carbonate chemistry, and other oceanographic parameters in Santa Monica Bay. Last year, a UCLA Practicum team worked with the Bay Foundation to assess the potential for kelp forests in the bay to serve as a refuge for marine life from ocean acidification. We plan to further this research and advance the Bay Foundation’s work to identify the magnitude of coastal ocean acidification in the bay.

Our team will first be conducting research to identify areas in the Santa Monica Bay where human activities or natural phenomena may cause local variations in dissolved carbon dioxide levels and pH at the ocean’s surface. We will then use UCLA’s research Zodiac to collect data on localized oceanographic parameters in these targeted locations.

We hope our research will increase awareness of human impact on the bay and susceptibility of marine species inhabiting these waters.

Our project’s success is dependent upon your help! Your support and donations will help fund our fieldwork on UCLA’s research Zodiac boat. We are hoping to conduct at least three full days of research as well as travel to UC Davis’s Bodega Marine Laboratory to process our samples. Ocean Acidification is happening right now and our project is dependent on your support and generosity! Thank you in advance and be on the lookout for updates on the progress of our team and our final results! 

Our way
of Thanking You


Blog Post Shoutout

Every single donation makes a difference! Thank you for contributing and helping our team further our research. To show our gratitude for your support, we will be giving you a personal shoutout in our weekly blog post! Check it out at

3 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: February 2018


Facebook Video Shoutout

All donations count and we are so thankful for yours! To show our thanks we will be mentioning your name in a video on our Facebook page. Check it out here:

17 of 100 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: November 2017


Video Shoutout & E-Letter

Thank you so much for your donation! We will be sending you an E-letter from our team as well as mentioning you in a video on our Facebook page. Check it out here:

14 of 50 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2017


Underwater Selfie

Because of you we are able to collect data using UCLA's research vessel. To show our thanks we will take a photo of us underwater holding a thank you card and send it you via email!

9 of 50 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2017


Personalized Postcard

To thank you for your donation we will send you a personalized e-postcard with a picture of us from one of our field research days! We could not have done it without you!

6 of 25 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2017


Acknowledgment & Post Card

Thank you for donating to our project! We will be sending you a personalized e-post card with a photo of us on UCLA's research vessel as well as acknowledging you in our final presentation.

2 of 20 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2017


2 Aquarium of Pacific Tickets

Without your help, our research would not have been possible so we want you to get excited about all things aquatic! We will be giving you 2 tickets to enjoy the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach as well as acknowledging you in our final presentation. Thank you so much! (GA Tickets. Tax deductible donation of $440)

1 of 1 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: November 2017


2 Tickets to Catalina Island

1 special donor will receive two round-trip tickets to Catalina Island as well as acknowledgment in our final presentation. Thank you so much for donating, we could not have done this without you! (Standard Tickets from San Pedro, Catalina Express. Tax deductible donation of $853)

0 of 1 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2017
Our Crowdfunding Groups