Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) is part of a national network of 28 reserves that represent a variety of biogeographically important estuarine ecosystems throughout the coastal United States. Collectively, these NERR sites provide unique opportunities to address research questions and coastal issues on a national scale. The reserves are united in their research efforts through the System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP).
SWMP was developed to nationally standardize long-term monitoring programs across all reserves. SWMP is comprised of three components: abiotic, biotic, and habitat monitoring. The abiotic monitoring efforts include water quality, nutrients, and meteorology. The biotic monitoring includes monitoring of submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation. The habitat monitoring involves mapping habitat types and detecting change over time using aerial imagery.
Data collection, data quality assurance and control and data archival are all standardized methods.