Jan. 12, 2015
TALLAHASSEE – Four new, real-time monitoring platforms have been constructed in Apalachicola Bay to upgrade current data-collection sites operated by the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve.
The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve has been collecting water- quality data continuously in Apalachicola Bay since 1992 as part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System-wide Monitoring Program. All 29 reserves across the country participate in this effort to depict the short-term and long-term variability in the conditions within our nation’s estuaries.
In addition to water-quality parameters, such as temperature and salinity, these four new stations collect water level and weather data every 15 minutes.
“Real-time water quality and weather stations will benefit commercial harvesters, recreational fishermen and the general public, as well as inform the management of natural resources within Apalachicola Bay,” said Jennifer Harper, manager of the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve.
This real-time data is now available to be viewed online, here. Construction of the platforms was funded through the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and instrumentation of the station was completed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of State Lands, Bureau of Surveying and Mapping staff.
The four new water-quality and weather data stations are located within East Bay, the Little St. Marks distributary, Dry Bar and Pilot’s Cove. In 2015, money from the federal fisheries disaster declaration will be used to upgrade the monitoring station currently on Cat Point to include water level data, weather data and telemetry.