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National Coastal Assessment

National Coastal Assessment (NCA) is a federally funded program to assess the ecological condition of the nation's estuarine resources. Starting in 2000, NCA's annual summer sampling involves collection of water, sediment, and benthic invertebrates samples at over 60 locations in NJ's coastal bays. Samples are analyzed for water chemistry (nutrients, dissolved oxygen, …), sediment chemistry/toxics, sediment toxicity and benthic diversity.

Results from this program are used in EPA's National Coastal Condition Reports. Results are also used by NJDEP to assess ecosystem impairment of the NY/NJ Harbor in NJ's Integrated Water Monitoring and Assessment Report.

Through a collaborative effort between EPA, NJDEP and Rutgers University, research is currently underway in New Jersey to expand NCA's assessment to the state's (and subsequently the nation's) near-shore ocean waters.

The design of the NCA program is probabilistic, which means that it can be used to estimate what percentage of the state's or nation's waters are in good, fair or poor condition.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: February 22, 2011

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