National Estuarine Research Reserve System
background background
search icon
Home Site Map Contact Us
space backgroud
  Home > Research
 Monitoring & Research
sky background
Research and Monitoring Data

To be functional and useful, a monitoring program must collect data that are accurate, representative of the system being studied, and of sufficient duration to capture variability in the system as well as long-term trends. The accuracy of the monitoring data depends on the methods and protocols used for data collection,  as well as the methods and protocols used to detect erroneous or missing data.

All System-wide Monitoring Program datasets are housed and served through the Reserve System's Centralized Data Management Office (CDMO), which provides quality assurance and quality control for the reserve system. The CDMO is also responsible for maintaining and updating the system's standard operating procedures so that all SWMP data are collected in the same way across the nation.

What is QA/QC?
Quality assurance (QA), quality control (QC) and standard operating procedures (SOP) are separate components of a monitoring program that work together to provide data of known quality. Together they minimize and quantify the error that is introduced in sampling and allow the tracking of errors that might occur. QA/QC includes planning, assessment, reporting and making necessary changes to the water monitoring program to ensure quality data.

Access to Monitoring Data through CDMO
Real-time monitoring data and archived monitoring data can be accessed through CDMO. Archived and near-real time Water Quality and Weather Data may also be accessed directly via an interactive map  that shows each reserve.

Access to Mapping Data through CDMO
NERRS boundary maps and station locations may be downloaded as GIS shape files or Google Earth compatible (.kml) files

The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), is a nation-wide organization of ocean and coastal observations, data streams, data management, and analysis. The goal of the IOOS program is to bring these elements together from all sources - federal, state, and local - to create synergy across programs. The ultimate purpose of IOOS is to improve understanding and management of our coasts and our oceans.

The NERRS program offers a unique set of data to IOOS, because the system collects one of the only nation-wide coordinated sets of estuarine water quality and weather parameters, with real-time data capabilities. 

Information about IOOS can be obtained from Ocean.US , which is the home of the US observing system effort, and from the  IOOS Home Page.

The Hydrometerological Automated Data System (HADS) is a data acquisition, data processing, and product distribution system, operating in support of nation-wide activities administered by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS). The primary requirement of HADS is to provide near real-time data to the Nation's Hydrologic Services program. HADS has been a crucial partner in developing the NERRS real-time data capabilities and continues to operate as an additional data provider that allows NERRS to reach user groups in the weather forecasting community.

Access to NERRS Data through HADS

Real-Time Data for Northwest Shellfish Growers

An example of the practical application of real-time water quality data can be found in the Pacific Northwest, where shellfish growers can go to a dedicated Web site providing data from SWMP stations at research reserves in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. The site displays up-to-date water temperature, salinity, oxygen, turbidity, pH and chlorophyll data from the Kachemak Bay (Alaska), Padilla Bay (Washington) and South Slough (Oregon) reserves, as well as monitoring buoys in the Hood Canal operated by the University of Washington's Oceanic Remote Chemical-Optical Analyzer project.

Accurate and current water quality data help growers spot potential problems with shellfish health that can result from low oxygen, high temperatures and other factors.

The Web site is jointly sponsored by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System and the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS). Other partners include OAA’s Coastal Services Center, the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association,  the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association and the Pacific Shellfish Institute.

For more information, contact Marie Bundy.

Last Updated on: Thursday, October 15, 2009
    For more information contact
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | National Ocean Service | Web Site Owner: Ocean and Coastal Resource Management | Site Map | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | NERRS Webmaster | NERRS Staff Only | ERD Staff Only

Home Side Map Contact Us