are they? There
are currently eleven water quality sensors in the coastal waters of New Jersey. Seven of these water quality sensors are owned and maintained by The Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University. The remaining four are owned and maintained by NJDEP Marine Water Monitoring. The sensors are automatically updated (when operational). The automated sensors have a solar power source and telemetry
for transmitting the data to a base station operated by
the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
do they measure? Each
unit is equipped with sensors to measure water temperature,
salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity and chlorophyll
a. Temperature and salinity are very basic measurements
that determine what types of marine animals and plants
could thrive in the location. Dissolved oxygen and
pH provide information how favorable the waters could
be for the plants and animals that are present.
Turbidity tells us how far light can penetrate into the
water for plants to use. Chlorophyll a is a measure
of the amount of plant material suspended in the water.
Typically this suspended plant material is microscopic
plants called phytoplankton.