The Florida Coastal Office (FCO) continuous water quality monitoring program began in 1995 and was expanded to the Aquatic Preserve sites in late 2003. Today, FCO's Aquatic Preserve Program maintains 14 continuous water quality monitoring stations in five aquatic preserves including Big Bend Seagrasses, St. Martins Marsh, Matlacha Pass, Estero Bay, Yellow River Marsh, and Biscayne Bay and the three National Estuarine Research Reserves maintain 15 stations. Data are collected in 15-minute intervals for eight parameters (water temperature, specific conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen percent, dissolved oxygen mg/L, depth, pH and turbidity) and over 50% of the stations have more than 10-years of data. Data collected are used by resource managers, planners, permitting agencies, educators, scientists and anyone who is interested in learning more about coastal ecosystems. These data can address specific coastal management needs and promote conservation of estuarine habitats.
Data are evaluated by the Aquatic Preserves staff for validity based on weather data, field observations, graphs, and instrument diagnostics. Data available through the data portal have also undergone Quality Assurance/Quality Control procedures utilizing the National Estuarine Research Reserve’s (NERR) System-Wide Monitoring Program’s (SWMP) continuous monitoring protocols. For more information regarding the NERRS SWMP Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) procedures please contact firstname.lastname@example.org