Monitoring Soft Bottom Tidally Influenced Streams


From: Joanna A. Cornell []
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2007 9:33 AM
To: Volunteer water monitoring
Subject: [volmonitor] Monitoring soft-bottom tidally-influenced streams

Hello Everyone,

Are any of you monitoring soft-bottom tidally-influenced streams? If so, I’d love to hear what protocols you are using and what you’re monitoring. I’m exploring the possibility of adding a few such sites to our monitoring program. I look forward to hearing your insights.



Joanna A. Cornell, Ph.D.
Aquatic and Human Ecologist
Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District
12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 905
Fairfax, VA 22035
w: 703.324.1425
f: 703.324.1421


Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 10:31:16 -0400
From: Linda Green

Hi Joanna,

The Narrow River Preservation Association ( has been monitoring Narrow River here in RI as a part of URI Watershed Watch (URIWW) for many years. In brief, they monitor a dozen sites from the headwater stream (Gilbert Stuart*’s birthplace!) to the ocean biweekly for DO, temperature, salinity & filter water for subsequent lab analysis of chlorophyll and collect monthly water samples at low tide for URIWW lab analysis of bacteria (enterococci) , total, nitrate- and ammonia-N, total P. The monitoring protocol can be found online.  As a result of what they have found they are also monitoring several tributary streams and a storm drain outfall.

Interestingly Narrow River starts as the outflow of a freshwater lake, Carr or Pasacauco Pond, then becomes Gilbert Stuart stream and flows into 2 deep ponds, Upper and Lower Ponds, which are stratified due to chloride from salt and then into the Narrow (Pettasquamscutt) River. The ponds rarely destratify and when they do the river turns yellow from sulfur and reeks of hydrogen sulfide.

*Gilbert Stuart painted the famous portrait of George Washington that’s on our $1 bill.

Hope this is helpful,

Linda Green
URI Watershed Watch Program Director
URI Cooperative Extension Water Quality
College of the Environment and Life Sciences
CIK, 1 Greenhouse Road
Kingston, RI 02881-0804

Leave a Reply