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Tampa Bay Ocean and Coastal Acidification Monitoring Quality Assurance Project Plan

March 26, 2019

Coastal acidification caused by eutrophication, freshwater inflow, and upwelling is already affecting many estuaries worldwide and can be exacerbated by ocean acidification that is caused by increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Effective management, mitigation, and (or) adaptation to the effects of coastal and ocean acidification require careful monitoring of the resulting changes in seawater chemistry. Local, regional, and national agencies and institutions organizing acidification-monitoring and research efforts work toward standardizing data collection and reporting protocols so that data can be shared and compared across regions and synthesized into national assessments. This document describes a Quality Assurance Project Plan for the collection and reporting of seawater chemical and physical data using standardized methods and published best practices relevant for monitoring coastal and ocean acidification. The plan specifically addresses procedures for a joint partnership, the Tampa Bay Ocean and Coastal Acidification Monitoring project, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program in the Tampa Bay estuary, Florida. The plan describes recommended procedures for project organization, sampling process design and methods, data-quality objectives and criteria, data validation and management procedures, and project deliverables.