Draft SOPs developed for monitoring estuaries statewide

Posted May 7, 2021
SCCWRP and its partners are working to develop and 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 developed a set of standardized methods for collecting field data on the health of California’s coastal estuaries, part of an ongoing effort to develop a consistent, statewide estuarine monitoring framework.

The draft monitoring SOPs (standard operating procedures), which were completed in March, will enable estuary managers to evaluate priority ecological functions of estuary sites over a three-day field sampling period.

Researchers are using the SOPs to support development of a comprehensive monitoring framework for coastal estuaries, including California’s two dozen estuarine Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). 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.

Estuary managers have completed a first round of testing of the SOPs at 15 estuary sites statewide. The California Ocean Protection Council intends to use the new monitoring framework to report on the health of California’s estuarine MPAs in 2024.

More news related to: Bioassessment, Regional Monitoring