The Food Chain Research Group (FCRG) of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla, Calif.) has for a number of years investigated the functional relationships that exist within the food web of the Southern California Bight. This project has been extremely productive from a number of standpoints. First, it has been a focused research venture that has resulted in numerous quality publications throughout the years and has trained a series of highly qualified researchers, many of whom have gone on to establish their own productive research programs. More importantly, these interdisciplinary projects have led to a new understanding of the functioning of pelagic systems on a variety of scales (e.g., the small-scale coupling of bacteria and microzooplankton, the interannual variations in phytoplankton, zooplankton, and fish larvae in relation to physical forcing in the bight, etc.).