This report summarizes physical and biological conditions in the California Current System (CCS), from Oregon to Baja California, in 2001 and 2002. The principal sources of the observations described here are the CalCOFI (California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations), IMECOCAL (Investigaciones Mexicanas de la Corriente de California), and U.S. GLOBECLTOP (Global Ecosystems Long-term Observation Program) programs. Large-scale atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the Pacific point to a fourth consecutive La Niña-like year. This has contributed to generally stronger than normal upwelling and uncharacteristically cool waters in much of the CCS, a pattern that has persisted since late 1998. Biological productivity has been generally higher as well, particularly off Oregon. Within the observed interannual fluctuations of recent years, these conditions suggest a generally elevated production off California and Oregon, but cool conditions have led to lower than normal zooplankton biomass off Baja California. Although the tropical Pacific has exhibited some indications of a developing El Niño, it is not likely to impact the CCS during the productive upwelling season of 2002. These observations are continuing evidence that a regime shift may have occurred in 1998, resulting in substantial change in ecosystem structure in the CCS. Continued monitoring and analysis of the state of the CCS in this context is needed. We outline a plan for an integrated monitoring program for the entire region, through the creation of ACCEO (Alliance for California Current Ecosystem Observation).