Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN)

six-rayed star
The six-rayed star is found in the intertidal zone of the western seaboard of the United States. This predator is unusual among starfish because it broods its eggs and young. Photo credit: Rebecca Johnson

Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) is an integrated, long-term program that takes an ecosystem approach to identify and understand changes within sanctuaries managed by the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. SIMoN provides resource managers with the information needed for effective decision-making and promotes a basic understanding of the complex and unique marine processes within the California Current ecosystem. By gathering summary metadata from on-going, recently completed and historic monitoring and research projects within sanctuaries, SIMoN facilitates the critical but often overlooked communication between researchers, resource managers, educators and the public.

SIMoN provides sanctuary staff a powerful tool to quickly access summary information on hundreds of monitoring and research programs. Sanctuary staff also seeks to increase the effective use of scientific research by integrating existing programs and identifying gaps in information. To avoid duplicating programs and leverage available resources, managers must first know what has been done in the past and which programs continue to collect data. With this knowledge, managers can more effectively target their limited resources on surveying and characterizing under-studied habitats, assessing the impact of natural processes or human activities on specific resources, and implement relevant, long-term monitoring programs.

Finally, SIMoN serves to make the monitoring data available to managers, decision makers, the research community, and the general public. SIMoN serves as a hub for initiating and integrating data collecting efforts and disseminating information. Visit the SIMoN website for more information.