South River Federation's monitoring program provides a comprehensive assessment of water quality conditions across the South River and its freshwater tributaries in order to identify potential restoration sites and evaluate current sites. We collect an integrated set of water quality parameters including physical/chemical properties, nutrient and sediment inputs, plankton and algae concentrations, and habitat conditions that provide an assessment of water quality conditions. This monitoring includes control, pre-restoration, and post-restoration sites to characterize existing water quality conditions, examine nutrient and sediment reduction, and assess changes in trends in response to habitat enhancement. All data from the Scientific Monitoring program is statistically analyzed, summarized, and interpreted in peer-reviewed publications and the annual Report Card.
The monitoring program is an integrated system of tidal, non-tidal, and bacteria monitoring. Tidal monitoring on the South River consists of 21 stations monitored weekly between April through October and biweekly from November through March using the South Riverkeeper boat. Non-tidal monitoring is conducted weekly at 22 freshwater streams around the South River watershed. Bacteria monitoring, which tests fecal bacteria contamination at community beaches, takes place during the summer as a part of Operation Clearwater.