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Water Quality Monitoring at St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics

Management activities at St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve have been discontinued as of July 1, 2011. This page describes one of the former ecosystem science programs which will be restarted should revenue streams improve.

The water quality monitoring program utilized several methods to record the bay’s water characteristics. Over time, baseline data is used as a tool for managing the water quality in the bay.

The preserve partnered with the University of Florida’s LakeWatch program to monitor nutrients in the bay and document:

  • total nitrogen and phosphorous levels,
  • algae content, and
  • water clarity.

Results indicated the need to identify sources of pollution in specific areas of the bay.

The preserve used dataloggers to monitor water quality. Two stations in the bay continuously monitored:

  • dissolved oxygen
  • salinity
  • temperature
  • conductivity
  • pH
  • turbidity
  • water level
Datalogger

A datalogger sited on a dock.

This data was used to identify trends in water quality and allowed the preserve to track environmental changes in the ecosystem.

Meteorological data was collected monthly by the weather station, and correlated with the water quality monitoring data.

In 2005, due to the increased occurrence of red tide (Karenia brevis) in St. Joseph Bay, the preserve partnered with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to begin collecting water samples to measure concentrations of brevitoxins and domoic acid. The data was used to determine what time of year these numbers may escalate or be absent.

More information on the Water Quality Monitoring Program at St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve is available in the St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve Management Plan.

Map of water quality monitoring stations
Water Quality Monitoring Stations Map

Last updated: December 13, 2012

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