Coastal Assessment (NCA) is a federally funded
assess the ecological condition of the nation's estuarine
resources. Starting in 2000, NCA's annual summer
sampling involves collection of water, sediment,
and benthic invertebrates samples at over 60 locations
in NJ's coastal bays. Samples are analyzed for water
chemistry (nutrients, dissolved oxygen, …),
sediment chemistry/toxics, sediment toxicity and
Results from this program are
used in EPA's National Coastal Condition Reports.
Results are also used by NJDEP
to assess ecosystem impairment of the NY/NJ Harbor
in NJ's Integrated Water Monitoring and Assessment Report.
Through a collaborative
effort between EPA, NJDEP and Rutgers University,
research is currently underway in New Jersey to expand
NCA's assessment to the state's (and subsequently
the nation's) near-shore ocean waters.
design of the NCA program is probabilistic, which
means that it can be used to estimate what percentage
of the state's or nation's waters are in good,
fair or poor condition.