Monitoring Plan for Portuguese Coastal Waters
Water Quality and Ecology
|Introduction||Key outputs||Products||Project team||Documents||Links|
How do I get a copy of this book?
Send an email here with your postal address and MONAE in the subject.
Portugal has a number of important estuaries, which fall under the category of transitional waters – two of these, and parts of the rivers which flow into them, form the northwestern and southeastern borders with Spain. Portugal has an extensive coastal area, which delimits the country to the west and to the south.
The project “Monitoring Plan for Water Quality and Ecology of Portuguese Transitional and Coastal Waters”, or MONAE, was financed by the Portuguese Water Institute, INAG, and carried out by an interdisciplinary team drawn from marine science and management experts in the E.U., U.S. and South Africa. It started on February 9th 2004, and had a duration of one year. This project aims to provide the reader with a blueprint for the development of a successful and economically viable monitoring plan, based on soundly formulated hypotheses and containing appropriate verification instruments. Data were drawn from many sources, including the databases built during the coastal typology and reference conditions project TICOR.
The E.U. Water Framework Directive (WFD – Directive 2000/60/EC) outlines the requirements for monitoring of surface waters in the European Union, within the general framework of river basin management plans. Three distinct types of monitoring are stipulated, in order to meet the overall goal of assessing the quality status of European waters. The focus of this book is only on transitional (estuarine) and coastal waters, for which the following monitoring types and objectives are defined in the WFD.
Key outputs and findings
A summary of the key outputs and findings of MONAE are presented below.
Data collection in Portuguese Transitional and Coastal Waters has been carried out regularly in several thematic areas, including hydromorphology, marine geology, water quality, phytoplankton, shellfish and specific pollutants.
An approach for the division of Transitional and Coastal Waters in Portugal into water bodies for management and monitoring purposes was developed in MONAE. Two distinct methodologies were used: for the definition of Open Coastal Water Bodies literature results were used, and for Transitional and Restricted Coastal Water Bodies, a bottom-up data analysis approach was carried out.
There are common points to both methodologies, since in both cases natural factors such as salinity or morphology are combined with the human
dimension, using the significant pressures and/or key elements of state. The application of these methodologies has resulted in the
proposed definition of 60 transitional and coastal water bodies for Portugal.
Definitions and guidelines
Although the general objective of monitoring specified in the WFD is to verify compliance with water quality
objectives, or to establish the reasons for non-compliance so that appropriate measures may be put in place where applicable, a monitoring plan should examine these questions in broader terms, from the standpoint of ecosystem health.
A number of monitoring plans for coastal systems in the E.U. and U.S. have identified several types of indicators that can be used,
which may be applied in a complementary manner to address the issues under consideration. These are typically divided into core and research indicators, and are evaluated in distinct types of monitoring plans. This fits in well with the concepts outlined in the WFD and developed in various guidance documents, i.e. that for surveillance monitoring the full spectrum of BQE/SQE needs to be covered, for operational monitoring the indicators need to be far more targeted, and in the case of investigative monitoring the focus is on the detailed understanding of a specific issue.
The general definitions of different cost concepts are reviewed, and an estimate of existing monitoring costs from systems in different countries is then used to estimate a unit cost for monitoring, based on a station-sample pair - this is defined as a sample taken at a station on one occasion, which may include only one depth or multiple depths. The entity corresponds to a sampling visit to a particular geographic location. The information used to compile unit costs was drawn from work carried out in Portugal, the United States and China, within the framework of monitoring activities and research projects. The data were then normalised to Purchasing Power Parity (PPP€).
This approach allowed a comparison among different countries, both in terms of overall costs and the relative proportions of cost components. These data were then used to extrapolate costs for all three types of monitoring under the WFD, and are summarised above.
Public participation is an integral part of the application of the WFD. An overview of concepts and scope is carried out, followed by an analysis of specific issues associated to public participation in Portugal. Two modes of collaborative monitoring merit a comment. The first is the co-operation
between environmental Non-Governmental Organisations and schools. The second is the use of low-cost sensors, which dramatically improves the ability of a volunteer to gather scientifically valid data.
MONAE is described in a book, which may be requested free of charge by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request, together with your name and address. An electronic copy is also available in pdf here.
The book is aimed at a broad audience. Scientific papers supporting the work described in this book appear below:
J. G. Ferreira, A. M. Nobre, T. C. Simas, M. C. Silva, A. Newton, S. B. Bricker, W. J. Wolff, P.E. Stacey, A. Sequeira, 2005. A methodology for defining homogeneous water bodies in estuaries – Application to the transitional systems of the EU Water Framework Directive. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 66 (3/4), 468-482.
J. G. Ferreira, C. Vale, C.V. Soares, F.Salas, P.E. Stacey, S. B. Bricker, M.C. Silva, J.C. Marques, 2007. Monitoring of coastal and transitional waters under the EU Water Framework Directive. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Accepted.
MONAE Project team
Document retrieval area
The documents in this section may be downloaded, and include general WFD materials, guidance documents, and the MONAE book.
Document list for MONAE in reverse chronological order - Click to open or right-click to download
NOAA NCCOS - National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
PERFECT - Literature database for Portuguese estuaries
ASSETS - Estuarine eutrophication assessment
Site developed by: IMAR-GEM - Institute for Marine Research - 2004-2006