National Park Service

South Florida/Caribbean I&M Network (SFCN)

Estuarine Salinity Patterns Monitoring

Water quality monitoring station in Biscayne National Park
Water quality monitoring station in Biscayne National Park.

Monitoring Reports


Parks and partners are monitoring estuarine salinity patterns. SFCN is not developing a protocol but will link to reports and summaries.

Resource Briefs, Reports, and Data

There are currently no additional SFCN resource briefs, reports, or data concerning this monitoring topic.



Physical characteristics of marine water bodies establish environmental constraints within which other organisms must survive. Understanding the spatial and temporal distribution of the physical characteristics within marine water bodies allows more complete interpretation of other indicators. For example, historically, salinity monitoring has been correlated with benthic community monitoring, productivity analysis, fish and other organism sampling. Some parks have had continuous sampling at permanent locations for a number of years and understanding the pattern can help explain patterns observed.

Monitoring Objectives

What are the spatial and temporal changes in distributions of physical characteristics (conductivity converted to practical salinity units, pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature) in the marine water bodies of Florida Bay (coastal embankments, central bay, "open" bay), Biscayne Bay, and Salt River Bay?

Status and Trends

Status and trends for this vital sign are reported as part of the RECOVER: 2009 System Status Report. Everglades National Park recently released a Salinity and Hydrology of Florida Bay: Status and Trends 1990–2009 report.


This vital sign is already monitored by Biscayne National Park (BISC), Everglades National Park (EVER), and other partner agencies. SFCN's strategy is to link to existing monitoring reports and summaries.

Biscayne National Park
BISC maintains and reports on continuous conductivity sampling stations (funded by CERP RECOVER Monitoring and Assessment Program). The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) conducts water quality monthly grab sample stations and Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Research (DERM) conducts water quality monthly grab sample stations. BISC monthly krigs the salinity patterns in Biscayne Bay. SFCN hopes to work with BISC to post these monthly salinity maps and link to the regional CERP RECOVER Monitoring and Assessment Program reports and summaries.

Everglades National Park
For Everglades National Park (EVER), EVER continuous station monitoring data with South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) monthly water surveys can be used to krig salinity and temperature profiles for marine water bodies for Florida Bay and relate this to the model results for Florida Bay. For pH and dissolved oxygen are available from the SFWMD monthly grab samples.

Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve
Monitoring is deferred due to insufficient funding. However the park has funded some pilot work which SFCN may be able to link to.

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Last Updated: March 27, 2017 Contact Webmaster