Now that the growing season is in full swing, our watershed team is ramping up water quality sampling events to twice monthly in the Toms River and Cedar Creek, Forked River, and Oyster Creek watersheds. There are ten sites within the Toms River watershed and five sites within the Cedar Creek, Forked River, and Oyster Creek watershed. The purpose of this water quality project is to collect current water quality data that will inform the Watershed Protection and Restoration Plans being developed for each watershed. The samples that the Barnegat Bay Partnership is taking at the fifteen sites are complemented by NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s ongoing Barnegat Bay Long Term Ambient Monitoring Program. These current data along with any available historic data will be used to identify the nature and location of water quality problems in the watersheds.
Each sampling day the watershed team starts early and visits a subset of the water quality sites. Temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and pH are analyzed at the sites with a multi-parameter water quality meter using standard methods for which the BBP maintains NJDEP certification. Water is also collected in bottles and sent to an NJDEP-certified lab for analysis of a suite of other parameters including nutrients, pathogens, chlorophyll and more.