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MANAGING TROUBLED W A T E R S THE ROLE OF MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING Committee on a Systems Assessment of Marine Environmental Monitoring Marine Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1990
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NationalAcademy Press . 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. · Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of dis- tinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify Dues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The program described in this report was supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 14-12- 0001-30416 between the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of Interior and the National Academy of Sciences; Contract No. P-32690 with five California municipalities; and State of California Contract No. 6-213-250-0 with the California State Water Resources Control Board. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 89-77742 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04194-5 Copyright A) 1990 by the National Academy of Sciences Printed in the United States of America
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COMMITTEE ON A SYSTEMS ASSESSMENT OF MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DONALD F. BOESCH, Chairman, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin, Louisiana JERRY R. SCHUBEL, Vice-Chairman, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York BROCK B. BERNSTEIN, EcoAnalysis, Inc., Ojai, California WILLIAM M. EICHBAUM, Conservation Foundation, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM GARBER, City of Los Angeles (retired), Playa Del Rey, California ALLAN HIRSCH, Dynamac Corporation, Rockville, Maryland A. FREDERICK HOLLAND, VERSAR, Inc., Columbia, Maryland KENNETH S. JOHNSON, Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, Moss Landing, California DONALD J. O'CONNOR, Manhattan College, Glen Rock, New Jersey LISA SPEER, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, New York G. BRUCE WIERSMA, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho Staff CHARLES A. BOOE(MAN, Director CELIA Y. CHEN, Consultant SHEILA ~ MULVIHILL, Editor AURORE BLECK, Senior Project Assistant . . . 111
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MARINE BOARD SIDNEY ~ WALLACE, Chairman, Dyer, Ellis, Joseph & Mills, Washington, D.C. BRIAN J. WATT, ~ce-Chaim~an, TECHSAVANT, Inc., Kingwood, Texas ROGER D. ANDERSON, Bee Gee Shrimp, Inc., Tampa, Florida ROBERT G. BEA, NAE, University of California, Berkeley, California JAMES M. BROADUS III, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts F. PAT DUNN, Shell Oil Company, Houston, Texas LARRY L. GENTRY, Lockheed Advanced Marine Systems, Sunnyvale, California DANA R. KESTER, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island JUDITH T. KILDOW, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts BERNARD LE MEHAUTE, University of Miami, Miami, Florida WILLIAM R. MURDEN, NAE, Murden Marine, Ltd., Alexandria, · v. . . vlrgmla EUGENE K PENTIMONTI, American President Lines, Ltd., Oakland, California JOSEPH D. PORRICELLI, ECO, Inc., Annapolis, Maryland JERRY R. SCHUBEL, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York RICHARD J. SEYMOUR, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, IN Jolla, California ROBERT N. STEINER, Atlantic Container Line, South Plainfield, New Jersey EDWARD WENK, JR., NAE, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington Staff CHARLES ~ BOOKMAN, Director 1V
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Preface Lee modern age has a false sense of superiority because of the great mass of data at its disposal, but the principal advantage of mankind is rather the extent to which he knows how to form the material at his command. Goethe Madmen und Reflexionen no. 437 BACKGROUND From the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts of the United States, there have been increasingly frequent reports of closed bathing beaches, restricted shellfish beds, garbage washing up on shorelines, contaminated waters and sediments, oil spills, declining marine environmental quality, and ailing fisheries. The broad public perception of environmental degradation is set against a backdrop of extraordinarily complex natural ecosystem processes that are not fully understood, extensive public and private efforts to pro- tect and restore environmental systems, and great public concern for the environment. Environmental management efforts have included numerous marine environmental monitoring programs. More than $133 million is spent an- nually on monitoring programs in the United States in an effort to acquire information for marine environmental management decisions and ultimately to ensure protection of the environment. Monitoring is mandated by vari- ous federal, state, and local statutes, including the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act; the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act; and the National Ocean Pollution Re- search, Development and Monitoring Planning Act. The federal agencies responsible for the implementation of these programs include the Environ- mental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), and
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V1 PREFACE the Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Department of the Inte- rior. States, local authorities, utilities, and industries that discharge wastes into the coastal ocean conduct extensive marine environmental monitoring as well. Despite the large expenditure of resources and broad agency partici- pation, scientists, regulators, and monitoring practitioners agree that vast improvements are needed in the design and implementation of monitoring programs. The general perception is that the costs of monitoring programs, as currently conducted, often exceed their utility and benefit. On the other hand, there is a common vision that more appropriately designed and re- sponsive monitoring programs would improve environmental management. The Marine Board of the National Research Council has examined issues of the effectiveness of marine environmental monitoring in several studies over the past decade. Recognizing the growing need for national guidance on how to improve these monitoring programs, the National Research Council convened the Committee on a Systems Assessment of Marine Environmental Monitoring under the auspices of the Marine Board. Committee members were selected to ensure the wide range of expertise needed and to include a broad spectrum of viewpoints. Members represent the fields of marine environmental science, environmental management, experimental design decision support systems, measurement systems, and public interest. (Biographies of the committee members appear in Ap- pendix N) The policy of the National Research Council is to include the biases that might accompany expertise vital to the study in an effort to seek balance and fair treatment. SCOPE The committee was asked to evaluate and make recommendations to improve the usefulness of monitoring information by reviewing cur- rent monitoring systems and technology, assessing marine environmental monitoring as a component of sound environmental management, and identifying needed improvements in monitoring strategies and practices. To develop its information, the committee commissioned three case stud- ies, reviewed the literature, and drew upon the experience and insights of its members, managers, regulators, and practitioners involved in marine environmental monitoring. Drawing on its collective experience, the com- mittee concentrated on the literature and experiences in monitoring the marine environment. Only selective reference is made to the voluminous literature concerning monitoring freshwater environments.
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PREFACE . . Vll STUDY METHOD As one of its first tasks, the committee developed a conceptual model for the design and implementation of monitoring programs and the role of monitoring in marine environmental management. (See Appendix B.) The committee then convened three panels of experts to conduct case studies on marine environmental monitoring of the Chesapeake Bay, monitoring of the Southern California Bight, and disposal of particulate wastes in the oceans. These case studies used the conceptual model in their analyses. (Participants in the case studies are listed in Appendix C.) The panel reports provided a major base of technical information on the national experience in marine environmental monitoring.* lithe committee assessed the role of monitoring in environmental man- agement, its institutional dynamics, and the details of technical design and implementation. Because both institutional and technical aspects are inter- related, they need to be considered together in developing strategies for improving the quality and usefulness of marine environmental monitoring. ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT Chapter 1 provides background and justification for the study by dis- cussing the perceived inadequacies of monitoring, identifying the objectives and major thrusts of this report, and describing the assessment approach in detail. The second chapter discusses the role of monitoring in env~ron- mental management, including both benefits and limitations. It examines the institutional setting, the participants, and political influences. Chapter 3 discusses local, regional, and national monitoring and the need for co- ordination. Chapter 4 addresses the technical design and implementation of monitoring programs and describes a conceptual model for developing more effective and useful programs. The last chapter is the committee's conclusions and recommendations. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee benefited greatly from the enthusiasm, wisdom, and hard work of many who monitor and use monitoring information. In ad- dition to those cited as participants in or contributors to the case studies, other experts provided valuable insights along the way. They include Jack W. Anderson, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project; Gordon Beanlands, Canadian Federal Environmental Assessment Review Once; * Copies of the case studies are available from the Marine Board, 2101 Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC 20418.
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V111 PREFACE Paul Boehm, Arthur D. Little, Inc.; George Jackson, Texas A&M Univer- sity; Alan Mearns, NOAA; the late Ian Morris, University of Maryland; and Jerry M. Nell, Battelle New England Marine Research Laboratory. Still others helped with early conceptual thinking: they include Donald Au- rand, MMS; Bruce L. Bandurski, International Joint Commission; John ~ Calder, NOAA; Michael Champ, The American University; James Claus- ner, COE; Thomas Fredette, COE; Roger H. Green, University of Western Ontario; Charles W. Hummer, Jr., COE; Orie Loucks, Butler University; Alan Mytelka, Interstate Sanitation Commission; Candace Oviatt, Univer- sity of Rhode Island; Thomas Patin, COE; Fred Piltz, MMS; James P. Ray, Shell Oil Company; Andrew Robertson, NOAA; Anna Shaughnessy, VER- SAR, Inc.; and Kenneth Sherman, National Marine Fisheries Service. The liaisons from the sponsoring agencies were particularly lively contributors to committee discussions: Rosalind E. Cohen, MMS; Tudor Davies, EPA; Charles N. Ehler, NOAA; Robert M. Engler, COE; Susan Hamilton, City of San Diego; David Mathis, COE; John Norton, California State Water Resources Control Board; Craig Wilson, California State Water Resources Control Board; and Robert Zeller, EPA, who helped the committee to see clearly and to think practically.
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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION The Problem, 5 Goals and Objectives of This Study, 6 Marine Environmental Monitoring, 7 Marine Environmental Monitoring Expenditures, 10 Perceived Inadequacies of Monitoring, 15 Assessment Approach, 16 THE ROLE OF MONITORING IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ........................................ The Importance of Monitoring, 19 Institutional Dynamics of Monitoring, 25 STRENGTHENING REGIONAL AND NATIONAL MONITORING ......................................... Continuum of Monitoring Scales, 38 The Role of Regional Monitoring, 40 The Role of National Monitoring, 44 Coordination, 49 1X . . . . . . . . 19 ........ 38
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x CONTENTS 4 DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING MONITORING PROGRAMS 53 A Conceptual Approach to Designing Monitoring Programs, 54 Step 1: Define Expectations and Goals, 57 Step 2: Define Study Strategy, 62 Step 3: Conduct Preliminary Studies and Research, 72 Step 4: Develop Sampling/Measurement Design, 73 Quality Assurance An Important Element of Monitoring Program Design and Implementation, 82 Step 6: Convert Data into Useful Information, 84 Step 7: Disseminate Results, 87 Realistic Expectations, 87 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REFERENCES APPENDIXES Biographical Information B. A Conceptual Model of Marine Environmental Monitoring 111 C. Participants in Case Studies ...90 . . 97 ............ 107 INDEX ................ ...117 ..... 119