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Environmental Monitoring Plan


Fifty-one indicators, selected by scientific and technical experts convened by the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (HEP), can help us understand and document progress towards improvements in water quality, habitat, public access, maritime use, and community engagement. To help coordinate these monitoring efforts, improve data analysis, and make data available, HEP has produced an Environmental Monitoring Plan.  The Environmental Monitoring Plan also identifies priorities for future environmental monitoring, including gaps in currently available data. There are three tools: an interactive map, a companion digital storymap, and a monitoring recommendations report.

Environmental Monitoring Plan Tools

Interactive Map

The interactive map identifies past and current environmental monitoring efforts by HEP and its partners, including public agencies, utilities, universities, non-profits, and local community groups. The geographic scope extends to the watersheds of the Hudson Raritan Estuary with a northern boundary of the Troy Dam and southern boundary of Sandy Hook to Rockaway Point transect. The map allows users to locate monitoring sites for 29 environmental indicators and access downloadable data from specific programs.  Other monitoring program information accessible on the map includes the agencies/organizations conducting the monitoring; locations and geographical distribution of the monitoring stations or sites; frequency and duration of monitoring; and monitoring objectives. A complete catalog of monitoring programs is also downloadable from the map.  The catalog includes statewide or regional programs not included on the map, monitoring programs where data may not be publicly accessible, and relevant publications.

View the interactive map embedded below or use the full page version at this link:

Environmental Monitoring Storymap

The storymap illustrates current and past monitoring efforts across the Hudson Raritan Estuary, organized by HEP’s five goals: water quality, habitat and ecological health, port and maritime, public access and stewardship, and community engagement. Each section explores how the relevant indicators provide critical insight as to the quality of the estuary and progress towards HEP’s five goals.  It also indicates how these current efforts could be expanded or otherwise improved in the future.

Monitoring Recommendations

The monitoring recommendations report prioritizes current and prospective monitoring programs and identifies critical gaps in data.  These recommendations seek to sustain and/or start new monitoring efforts that will enable HEP and its partners to undertake the short-term and long-term trend analyses portrayed in the State of the Estuary report or otherwise address the 40 actions in the 2017-2022 Action Agenda. The report also suggests funding streams that could help support the continuation or new monitoring activities to achieve the actions outlined in the Action Agenda.