Entire Peconic Estuary Region
Surface Water Quality Monitoring
Sampling of marine and fresh surface waters, and a number of area point sources (STPs), was initially conducted by the Suffolk County Bureau of Marine Resources (BMR) in 1976 under the federally funded Long Island Comprehensive Waste Treatment Management Plan (LI 208 Study). Monitoring efforts have continued since that time, but have varied in frequency, the degree of spatial extent and the parameters analyzed, depending on the needs of existing programs and available resources.
The BMR currently monitors 26 main estuary and 17 peripheral embayment sites on a year-round monthly basis, with 33 additional stream and point source sites monitored at least quarterly.
Sampling analytes at marine stations include total and dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (nitrate, nitrite and ammonia), dissolved ortho-phosphate, total and fecal coliform bacteria, total suspended solids, chlorophyll-a, and the brown tide organism Aureococcus anophagefferens. Physical measurements taken include salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, light extinction (PAR) and secchi depth. Fresh water samples are also analyzed for dissolved metals and numerous organic constituents, including volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, chlorinated pesticides, organic acids, carbamate pesticides, herbicide metabolites, and dacthal breakdown products.