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Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds

Volunteer Estuary Monitoring: A Methods Manual

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vbar3March 2006

The Volunteer Estuary Monitoring Manual contains information and methodologies specific to monitoring estuarine water quality. The manual includes information that is useful to new and established volunteer estuary monitoring programs.

This manual aids in understanding estuaries, what makes them unique, the problems they face, and the role of humans in solving the problems. The manual explains how to establish and maintain a volunteer monitoring program, as well as working effectively with volunteers and ensuring their safety.

Managing and presenting data effectively, and making it available to data users are also part of effective volunteer estuary monitoring efforts. Finally, data quality assures the information collected and presented is of the highest quality.

Download the full document:

Download by chapter:

Unit 1 Chemical Measures

Unit 2 Physical Measures

Unit 3 Biological Measures


Top photo: Man making color comparison for water quality measurement.
Second photo: A woman stooping to pick up debris on an ocean beach.
Third photo: A man using a distance measuring wheel along a beach.
Bottom photo: A boat pier in an estuary.


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