Monitoring framework being developed to assess health of estuaries statewide

Posted August 7, 2020
Researchers are developing a standardized monitoring framework for assessing the condition of California’s coastal estuaries, including Upper Newport Bay in Orange County, above, one of the State’s estuarine Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

SCCWRP and its partners have begun working to develop a standardized, statewide monitoring framework for assessing the condition of California’s coastal estuaries, including the State’s 24 estuarine Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

The project, which kicked off in May with the formation of a management advisory committee, involves designing a monitoring program for evaluating multiple aspects of estuarine health, including benthic infauna, fish and marsh vegetation.

The framework is intended to bring consistency to estuarine monitoring efforts statewide. Although monitoring programs exist for estuaries across California, these programs have never been coordinated, limiting data comparability and managers’ ability to track the overall health of estuaries statewide.

The California Ocean Protection Council intends to use this monitoring framework to report on the health of California’s estuarine MPAs in 2024.


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