Develop Biological Indices and Establish Routine Biological Monitoring Program
New Jersey currently has macroinvertebrate biological indices for ocean and freshwaters, but no biological index specifically for Barnegat Bay. However, based on research, a biological index using benthic macroinvertebrates was developed and is currently being refined specifically for the Barnegat Bay (Taghon et al., 2016). The long-term monitoring of the benthic macroinvertebrate community will provide insight and feedback about the health of the bay and the effectiveness of the Strategy.
In addition, based on three years of investigation on phytoplankton, a season-salinity specific phytoplankton index of biotic integrity is also being developed. This phytoplankton index is being reviewed and will be used as an additional metric of biological assessment of water quality for the bay (Ren, et al., 2016).
- Action: Develop routine macroinvertebrate collection network and a season-salinity specific phytoplankton index of biotic integrity in the Barnegat Bay estuary, and use the results to assess the ecological health of the bay.
- Lead: DEP - Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health and Division of Water Monitoring and Standards
- Partners: Academia