South Slough water quality
The System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) is a nationally coordinated effort that provides long-term weather, water quality, biological community, habitat, and land use/cover information about estuaries and coastal ecosystems for research, education, and coastal management applications. The abiotic components of SWMP include four primary long-term water quality and nutrient monitoring stations, and one weather station. The weather and water quality stations are telemetered to provide near real-time data access (nerrsdata.org; nvs.nanoos.org). Additional abiotic elements include hydrologic and sediment dynamic parameters related to the Sentinel Sites. The biotic components of SWMP includes long-term vegetation monitoring transects at tidal marsh, eelgrass, and Sitka spruce swamp habitats located along the estuarine salinity gradient (see Sentinel Sites). The habitat mapping and change elements of SWMP include watershed and reserve scale boundary maps and habitat classification maps to assess changes in habitat condition and quality (see Habitat Mapping). The Centralized Data Management Office (CDMO) provides support for all of the SWMP data management activities, including data access, archiving, protocols, quality assurance/quality control, and training.
Coos Bay water quality
The Reserve expanded its water quality monitoring network to include four additional sites in the Coos estuary, one site in the mid bay at the McCullough Bridge (North Point) and three sites in the upper bay (Isthmus Slough, Catching Slough, and Coos River). The expansion was enabled through the Partnership for Coastal Watersheds project. These secondary SWMP water quality stations continuously monitor physical water parameters, including water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, and water depth with the same automated data sonde instruments used at the four core/primary SWMP water quality stations in the South Slough estuary.
The SWMP weather station at the South Slough Reserve provides long-term measurements of air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind direction and speed, precipitation, and photosynthetically active radiation to assess impacts on water quality, nutrient dynamics, and biological processes. The weather station was located on the University of Oregon’s Institute of Marine Biology campus from 2001-2015 collecting information near the mouth of the estuary and was relocated in 2016 to the south end of the Reserve at Tom’s Creek Marsh.
The Reserve also serves as a host site for one of NOAA’s US Climate Reference Network stations, located at the south end of the Reserve in Frederickson Marsh. The USCRN, with over 100 stations, provides measurements of air temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, infrared surface temperature, and soil conditions (temperature, moisture) for monitoring climate trends and supporting climate-related research.