National Park Service

Gulf Coast Network (GULN)


Monitoring wet-lands (JELA)
Monitoring water quality at Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve, Barataria Unit

The intent of park vital signs monitoring is to track a subset of physical, chemical, and biological elements and processes of park ecosystems that are selected to represent the overall health or condition of park resources, known or hypothesized effects of stressors, or elements that have important human values.

The elements and processes that are monitored are a subset of the total suite of natural resources that park managers are directed to preserve "unimpaired for future generations," including water, air, geological resources, plants and animals, and the various ecological, biological, and physical processes that act on those resources. In situations where natural areas have been so highly altered that physical and biological processes no longer operate (e.g., control of fires and floods in developed areas), information obtained through monitoring can help managers understand how to develop the most effective approach to restoration or, in cases where restoration is impossible, ecologically sound management.

The GULN Monitoring Plan provides a detailed description of the strategy for monitoring these vital signs. The table below shows the detailed monitoring protocols used to sample these vital signs to date.

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Vital Sign Category Protocol Status
Adjacent land Use Complete
Amphibians and Reptiles In peer review
Bird Communities Complete
Coastal Dynamics ????
Seagrass Complete
Terrestrial Vegetation ????
Texas Tortoise In peer review
Water Quality Complete
Weather & Climate Complete

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Last Updated: May 17, 2017 Contact Webmaster