Bureau of Freshwater & Biological Monitoring
Water Chemistry and Habitat
Photo Credit: NJDEP
Photo Credit: NJDEP
Dissolved oxygen, pH, water temperature, and specific conductivity are measured at each site by biomonitoring staff, concurrent with faunal sampling, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:18 Regulations Governing the Certification of Laboratories and Environmental Measures (NJDEP, 2003), Subchapter 8, Analyze-Immediately Environmental Measurements, and NJDEP’s Field Sampling Procedures Manual (NJDEP, 2005). These physical/chemical parameters are taken in situ, mid-depth, in a free-flowing area of the stream. The Bureau of Freshwater and Biological Monitoring is certified by the Office of Quality Assurance for each parameter sampled (Certified Lab ID # 11896). Water temperature, pH, specific conductance, and dissolved oxygen are measured using a multi-parameter water quality system that combines temperature, pH, conductance, and luminescent dissolved oxygen (LDO) probes into one meter. The pH, specific conductance, and dissolved oxygen probes are calibrated on a weekly basis per the manufacturer recommendations.
Additionally, nutrient samples are collected at the start of each sampling reach, at the center of the stream width, at mid-depth. Samples are collected as per "NJDEP Field Sampling Procedures Manual", 2005. Nutrient samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis of total phosphorus, nitrite and nitrate, and total TKN.
The physical habitat of each stream sampled is evaluated using the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s rapid habitat assessment form. The rapid habitat assessment form used features 10 habitat categories which are visually assessed by the crew leader in the sampled reach and scored on a scale of 20 (optimal) to 0 (poor) for each category. In addition to this visual assessment of habitat, the wetted width, tree canopy cover, and gradient (stream slope) is measured at each site. Streamflow or discharge is measured at select sampling locations using a Marsh McBirney Flo-Mate 2000.
If you are interested in more information about the IBI, please contact John Vile at 609-292-0427.