Sample Design and Methods - Western Coastal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program

Environmental Management Application

The Clean Water Act requires states to report the condition of their aquatic resources. EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) developed the coastal component of the Western Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program to support states in their efforts to meet this reporting requirement.

The Western Coastal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) uses monitoring and assessment tools to create an integrated and comprehensive coastal monitoring program along the west coast. Water column measurements are combined with information about sediment characteristics and chemistry, benthic organisms, and data from fish trawls to describe the current estuarine condition. (EMAP West Research Strategy)

Western Coastal EMAP Sampling Design

From 1999-2004, Ecology’s Environmental Assessment and Monitoring Program partnered with EPA and other resource agencies representing California, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii to conduct the Western Coastal EMAP.

Sampling in Washington State included:

  • 1999 – Gray’s Harbor, Willapa Bay, coastal estuaries
  • 2000 – Puget Sound subtidal
  • 2002 – Puget Sound and coastal estuary intertidal zones
  • 2003 – Washington coast - offshore
  • 2004 – resampling Puget Sound subtidal


Quality Assurance Project Plan

National Coastal Assessment Quality Assurance Project Plan 2001-2004 (PDF) from EPA

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