Assessing the Condition of Georgia Estuaries: Using the National Coastal Assessment as a Primer to Estuarine Monitoring
Water Quality and Habitat Programs, Coastal Resources Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Brunswick, Georgia
The National Coastal Assessment is one of several estuarine monitoring programs implemented by the Coastal Resources Division (CRD) in the past decade. Traditionally, estuarine assessments in Georgia have been based on trend monitoring designs. This approach has been used effectively to monitor and evaluate changes in population dynamics of many commercial and recreational finfish and invertebrate species of interest. Trend surveys have also been used to examine other more recent coastal issues of concern such as harmful algal bloom (HAB) monitoring and marsh dieback. Methods and sampling protocols have been standardized over time, thus insuring high levels of confidence in statistical analysis of temporal variation.