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Monitoring & Testing:  Ocean

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Sampling waters at deep ocean outfalls.

ENV has an extensive ocean monitoring program, which covers marine waters spanning the Leeward to the Windward coasts. The program is run by nine professionals whose main purpose is to monitor our marine environment. These SCUBA certified divers utilize 25-foot Boston Whalers and a larger, 37-foot craft to deploy ocean profilers and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for data gathering. In addition, they must collect marine fauna and perform sediment dredging by hand for various analyses.

ENV tests for a number of important 'indicator organisms' every four to six days in shoreline, nearshore and some offshore waters. All water quality parameters, such as nutrients, are measured quarterly. The results help ENV and DOH determine if there are public health risks due to the discharge of treated effluent. ENV monitors farther offshore quarterly, at minimum, for possible environmental impacts. Annually, tests are conducted for 129 priority pollutants in the effluent, fish tissue and sediments around the outfall while also observing fish close up for any abnormalities.

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 10, 2011