Coastal Waters Monitoring Program

Coastal Waters Monitoring Program

Implemented in 2011, the ADEM Coastal Waters Monitoring Program (CWMP) continues to evolve and grow. New strategies are in place that will accelerate the ADEM’s effort to fill gaps in coastal area trends monitoring by increasing frequencies and implementing more intensive monitoring in Alabama’s estuaries. The CWMP also includes the Alabama Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program, the Coastal Alabama Recreational Water Monitoring Program (Beach Monitoring), and other ADEM water quality monitoring in the coastal area.

CWMP stations are typically monitored for nutrients, bacteria, chlorophyll a, metals, and flow, with vertical profiles of in situ variables also conducted. In 2016 the design is being modified to divide the coastal region into three areas so that the entire coastal area is monitored over a three year period as opposed to the previous five year period. More frequent monitoring will provide additional data to determine water quality impairment, develop nutrient criteria, better address problems caused by changes in land use/ land cover and aid in determining the effectiveness of BMPs.

A state boundary sampling station is also now in place 1.5 miles offshore at the Alabama/Florida line, with a new station to be sampled at the Alabama/Mississippi line in 2016. These are in addition to the well established sampling station 4 miles offshore from the mouth of the Mobile Bay.

For further information on the CWMP, contact Mark Ornelas at (251) 450-3419 or

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