recommended in the CENR Draft Coastal Research and Monitoring Strategy (Chapters 6 and 7).

  • Establish representative or index sites (as defined by the susceptibility classification) where long-term, intensive research programs are conducted to better understand the mechanisms controlling eutrophication processes and the effects of nutrient enrichment on estuarine structure and function for the various classifications (Chapter 7).

  • Include monitoring of the effectiveness of nutrient management projects and strategies, including BMPs (Chapter 9).

  • USGS monitoring should be expanded with the specific objective of assessing nutrient inputs to estuaries and monitoring how these change over time. Further, monitoring data collected by the state and local agencies should be used more fully. Often, these data are collected for other purposes (such as assuring drinking water quality), yet they could provide useful information on nutrient inputs to estuaries if adequate quality control were maintained (Chapter 7).

  • Develop and implement regional or national monitoring and management strategies for atmospheric deposition. Expand deposition monitoring to better represent urban and coastal areas. Improve dry deposition monitoring and model efforts (Chapter 5).

Conduct Periodic Comprehensive Assessments of Coastal Environmental Quality

One key deficiency in the nation’s approach to coastal water quality deficiencies is the lack of periodic, comprehensive analysis like the recent NOAA National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment. In the future, such efforts will be particularly important because they would provide information about how systems have changed, which is critical for understanding whether policy and management choices have been effective in causing improvements. Thus, the nation needs to conduct a periodic (every 10 years) reassessment of the status of eutrophication in the nation’s coastal waters (similar in scope to NOAA’s 1999 National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment).

Develop a Susceptibility Classification Scheme

The National Nutrient Management Strategy should encourage further development and use of a classification scheme to determine a given estuary’s susceptibility to nutrient over-enrichment (Chapter 6). An important goal of coastal zone managers is to accommodate human actions

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