Monitoring Program Update

Monitoring Program Update 
As part of PREP’s ongoing commitment to monitoring the health of our estuaries PREP planned and implemented a comprehensive monitoring program for eelgrass in Summer and Fall of 2013. The program has three components: Collection of high quality aerial
Coastal Scientist Phil Trowbridge uses an underwater camera to capture images of eelgrass beds 
 imagery, photointerpretation of the imagery to map eelgrass beds, and groundtruthing to verify the accuracy of the eelgrass maps. Qualified contractors were hired for the first two components through a Request for Proposals process. The aerial imagery was collected under ideal conditions on August 24, 2013. PREP staff completed the groundtruthing component independently with contractor support from Jackson Laboratory researchers at UNH and Normandeau Associates. The imagery processing and photointerpretation work will continue during the fall and spring, with a final report by June 30, 2014.
Eelgrass groundtruth Sampling Map showing the groundtruth sites and which methods of groundtruthing were used in the Great Bay Estuary

PREP is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, a joint program between local, state and federal agencies established under the Clean Water Act with the goal of protecting and enhancing nationally significant estuarine resources. PREP is supported in part by an EPA matching grant and is housed within the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.