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New Study Finds Florida’s Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve in Good Ecological Condition

NCCOS researchers prepare to lower a grab sampler to collect benthic (bottom) sediments for analysis of physical properties, chemical contaminant levels, and enumeration of benthic fauna. Credit: C. Cooksey, NOAA.

NCCOS scientists recently published an assessment of ecological conditions at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) in Florida. The 2014 study integrated measures of water quality, sediment quality, and biological condition to assess the current status of the ecosystem within the reserve, as well as several locations outside of the reserve in the St. Augustine area. The combined parameters used by the team, along with generally low levels of chemical contamination measured in the reserve’s oysters and finfish, suggest that the majority of the reserve is in good ecological condition.

The results are consistent with findings reported for other southeastern NERR locations based on similar methods. Data from the study provide a baseline for a broad suite of indicators measured at many locations throughout the reserve, complementing the existing NERR System-wide Monitoring Program, which collects long-term measurements of water quality and weather at a few fixed locations. Study results were presented recently at the “State of the Reserve” meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

For more information, contact Len.Balthis@noaa.gov.

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Shorter web link for sharing: https://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=20735