Monitoring Program Objectives
Monitoring to Detect
Monitoring decisions are most efficient if based on the watershed as the functional
unit of the ecosystem. The hydrologic basis is particularly important for assessing
the impact of land use,
and runoff-driven NPS pollution. Even PS problems
require watershed information to determine their impact.
Chemical vs Biological
Project activities are expected to affect physical, chemical, and biological vari-
ables; therefore, an integrated approach that accounts for ecosystem components
is desirable. The timing and magnitude of response to remediation is generally
difficult to estimate. Monitoring results to track compliance with water quality
standards are unlikely to be directly applicable to ecological assessments. In
addition, biological monitoring cannot identify specific contaminants or their
concentration. Therefore, an integrated physical, chemical, and biological mon-
itoring approach may be necessary to document ecosystem impacts.
Data on the cost of monitoring is very limited, but the cost of water quality
monitoring can vary significantly for many reasons. One way to report cost is to
provide an estimate of the number of hours required to perform a task for a
monitoring event at a single station.
(1988) reports that for macroinvenebrare monitoring, qualitative sampling
requires at least one experienced biologist on the team, and six person-hours in the
field and four hours for identification with no time required for laboratory picking.
For two kick samples, 1.5 hours were required to collect the sample, nine hours
to pick the sample, and 10 hours for identification.
Plafkin et al. (1989) in the
Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in
Streams and Rivers have found that sampling riffles, runs, and pools at each site,
with effort proportional to each of these major habitat types, requires generally
one-two hours. Gear, size, and complexity of the site are factors that affect
sampling time. Times were not given for sample processing.
Costs forvarious types of physical, chemical, and biological monitoring have been
reported by Ohio EPA (1989). Since the cost of labor is difficult to estimate and
it is unclear if labor costs
equal for different procedures, comparisons with the
figures above are difficult to determine. For a basic lake monitoring protocol,
Wedepohl et al. (1990) provide a table of variables, general sampling information,
and a general cost estimate for the sampling program.
Land Treatment and
Land treatment and land use monitoring are used to track where and when
are implemented and how well they are adhered to. The purpose is to track
Land Use Monitoring
treatment strength in time and space. Watershed management variables (e.g., land
treatment, land use) are explanatory variables as discussed in section
Monitoring BMP implementation and land use in critical areas is necessary to
track treatment progress.
noncritical area treatment and land use can be
important and should be monitored, but probably at a lower level of effort.
Land treatment and land use monitoring should relate directly to the pollutants or
impacts monitored at the water quality station. Since the impact of
quality may not be immediate or implementation may not be sustained, informa-
tion on relevant watershed activities will be essential for the final analysis.