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Estuarine monitoring programs in the Albemarle Sound study area, North Carolina

June 24, 2014

Albemarle Sound was selected in 2012 as one of the two demonstration sites in the Nation to test and improve the design of the National Water Quality Monitoring Council’s National Monitoring Network (NMN) for U.S. Coastal Waters and their tributaries. The goal of the NMN for U.S. coastal waters and tributaries is to provide information about the health of our oceans and coastal ecosystems and inland influences on coastal waters for improved resource management. The NMN is an integrated, multidisciplinary, and multiorganizational program using multiple sources of data and information to augment current monitoring programs.

 

The purpose of this report is to identify major natural resource management issues for the region, provide information on current monitoring activities occurring within the Albemarle Sound study area, determine how the current monitoring network fits into the design of the NMN, and determine what additional monitoring data are needed to address these issues. In order to address these questions, a shapefile and data table were created to document monitoring and research programs in the Albemarle Sound study area with an emphasis on current monitoring programs within the region. This database was queried to determine monitoring gaps that existed in the Albemarle Sound by comparing current monitoring programs with the design indicated by the NMN. The report uses this information to provide recommendations on how monitoring could be improved in the Albemarle Sound study area.