The primary objective of this monitoring network is to provide scientists and managers with the information needed to successfully achieve the goals established through the south Florida restoration effort.
This coastal water quality-monitoring network enables scientists to:
Establish baseline reference conditions for development of resource-based water quality standards;
Measure the present status and trends of estuary and marine water quality parameters;
Evaluate progress toward achieving sustainable water quality standards for the protection and restoration of the marine resources along the south Florida coast;
Provide data needed to make unbiased, statistically robust conclusions about the south Florida coastal waters as a whole and within defined strata;
Provide a medium for understanding nutrient pollutant fate/effect relationships.
The network includes monthly sampling at stations in Rookery Bay, Estero Bay, Pine Island Sound, Florida Bay, Whitewater Bay, the Shark Slough estuaries, Biscayne Bay, Southwest Florida Shelf, and the Ten Thousand Islands. Florida International University shall provide a Quality Assurance (QA) Program for the network to ensure that the data generated are accurate, representative of actual conditions, and that a quantifiable measure of confidence can be established.