Supporting the synthesis of long-term monitoring data to develop regional and national products that address coastal management priorities
Established in 1995, the NERRS System-wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) is a consistent, standard monitoring program at each reserve with a coordinated process for collecting, managing, and archiving data. The program enables reserves to address site-specific needs as well as conduct cross-reserve comparisons to address local, regional, and national estuarine issues. With each reserve collecting continuous data on water quality, biodiversity, and land-use and habitat change, the Reserve System has built robust datasets that can be used to address challenges related to both short-term variability and long-term change in coastal habitats.
Monitoring data are also being used to address specific management questions and needs; for instance, the Sentinel Site Application Module was established by the Reserve System to better understand, mitigate, and adapt to climate change-driven impacts on estuaries and coastal communities. Using a subset of SWMP data, reserves participating in the Sentinel Site program study changes in marsh, mangrove, and submerged aquatic vegetation in response to sea level rise and inundation.
Developing SWMP and Sentinel Site data-derived information products is a priority need for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. As a result, Science Collaborative project teams are using SWMP and Sentinel Site data to address a variety of management questions and needs by developing new ways to analyze data, packaging data and providing tools to increase syntheses across the System, and communicating results of data synthesis to end users.
To learn more about specific projects and research products in this focus area, follow the links below.