System-Wide Monitoring Program
The System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) provides long-term data on water quality, weather, biological communities, habitat, land use, and land-cover characteristics. The standardized instrumentation and data collection protocols allow the delivery of near real-time data, from each of the reserve sites, that are uniform, consistent, and reliable. Data are available from the Centralized Data Management Office.
All 29 Reserves carry out a System Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP), using the same protocols. Programs include weather, water quality, habitat mapping, salt marsh vegetation, and submerged aquatic vegetation. These data are available from the Centralized Data Management Office:
- Weather: The Reserve weather station measures temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, precipitation, sunlight and atmospheric conditions.
- Water quality: The Reserve uses four automated dataloggers to monitor physical and chemical variables at 15-minute intervals. Measures of water quality include temperature, water depth, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. The Reserve periodically takes samples at one automated datalogger to measure nutrients (ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, ortho-phosphate, and chlorophyll a).
The research, coupled with the monitoring data, provides a strong, science-based foundation for addressing coastal management challenges on local and national levels.