System-Wide Monitoring Program at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

As a National Estuarine Research Reserve, we are participating in an ongoing national effort to better understand short-term variability and long-term change in estuarine ecosystems. One way we are addressing this is to generate time series data for important physical factors that influence life in estuaries. As part of the System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP), each reserve collects information on local water quality and weather. Using data loggers, water quality factors such as water temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen are measured every thirty minutes, and weather parameters such as air temperature, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction are measured continuously. Nutrient sampling is also conducted monthly. In addition, the Reserve’s Educational Water Quality Monitoring Laboratory uses volunteers to study bacterial contamination of estuarine
waters, demonstrating one way in which the education and research missions of the Reserve can be linked.