Environmental Monitoring

  • Jan 6, 2010
  • Greg Blanchard

We operate a variety of environmental monitoring programs to demonstrate compliance with state or federal requirements, demonstrate the effectiveness of our watershed improvement efforts, quantify the amount of pollutants entering our receiving waters, and establish ambient air quality trends. Data from our monitoring programs meet strict national quality assurance standards and are reported to national databases.

Water Quality Monitoring

Water quality sampling in the Braden river
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Water quality sampling in the Braden river

The Air and Watershed Protection program operates three (3) surface water quality monitoring programs in our lakes, streams, rivers, and estuaries. Our water quality programs are supported by our own certified environmental laboratory. Data from these programs are suitable for a variety of purposes and are easily available through the Manatee Water Atlas (see the link in the right-hand column).

Air Quality Monitoring

Manatee County air quality monitoring station
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Manatee County air quality monitoring station

Ambient air quality monitoring equipment is contained in enclosures like the one shown. Manatee County operates three stations that monitor ground level ozone pollution. This pollutant is produced when sunlight transforms emissions of other air pollutants, and forms the basis of classical urban 'smog'.

The Air and Watershed Management program operates three (3) air quality monitoring stations in Manatee County's urban area. These stations monitor ground-level ozone, the most significant air pollutant in the region. Our air quality data meets strict quality assurance standards and is suitable for establishing the air quality attainment status of Manatee County.

Biological Monitoring

Seagrass meadow in Sarasota bay
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Seagrass meadow in Sarasota bay

In some cases living resources are the best indicator of environmental quality. A key resource in the estuary is the health of the area's seagrass beds. The Air and Watershed Management program does a once-per-year collection of data that helps evaluate seagrass condition in coastal Manatee County.