Estuarine Monitoring Team

Background

Water quality issues in the Pamlico and Lower Neuse Rivers and other estuarine waters dictate frequent evaluation and response by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ). Vast areas of North Carolina’s estuaries require large boats and well trained staff for water quality assessment programs to be scientifically conducted in these challenging environments.  Environmental conditions and evaluations associated with a response to fish kills, algal blooms, or other environmental investigations in coastal water bodies requires dedicated and talented staff.
 
A three member team is assigned to provide intensive and routine assessment of water quality issues in the Lower Neuse and Pamlico River estuaries and the surrounding area. This team is responsible for monitoring and assessment of environmental events such as fish kills, algal blooms, and routine fixed station long-term monitoring studies.  Other duties include assisting in maintenance of continuous monitors, citizen complaint investigations (buffer rule investigations, mapping of submersed aquatic vegetation, and enhanced communications within the local area.  Assessments include collection of data and immediate transfer of those data to decision makers in the areas of fisheries, environment, and human health.  Scientific knowledge regarding harmful algae blooms and decisions on actions associated with human health are additional challenges supported by the team. 
 
 

ResponsibilitiesWater Quality River Sampling Vessel

  • Water quality monitoring in approximately 100 stations located within the Lower Neuse and Pamlico River Basins and Albemarle Sound
  • evaluation of acute water quality related events like fish kills and algal blooms
  • Citizen complaint investigations
  • Agency Collaboration such as Inter-Agency Research assistance
  • The EPA's National Coastal assessment program
  • Assisting the Washington Regional Office with compliance investigations and Riparian Buffer Determinations

 

Staff Contacts

Jill Paxson Environmental Senior Specialist (252) 948-3898
Gary Davis Environmental Senior Technician (252) 948-3897
Burt Simons Environmental Senior Technician (252) 948-3896