The generation of sea spray aerosols at the ocean surface is a key process for regulating the radiation budget and climate over a large part of the Earth. The CESSA project aims to combine cross-disciplinary expertise to study this aerosol formation process in unprecedented detail using state-of-the-art experimental methods and numerical model simulations. Within CESSA we are conducting experiments using a laboratory sea spray simulation tank to study the relationship between the organic mass fraction of sea spray aerosol and marine primary productivity. These data will be used to create numerical representations of the sea spray aerosol generation process (the emissions of sea salt and organic matter). These new sea spray aerosol parameterizations will be applied within global climate models to provide a better understanding of the role of sea spray aerosol in regulating the global climate and feedbacks between human activities, climate change, and aquatic microbial ecology.