Near-Shore and Onshore Sampling

Success with NPS

Author: Kristy Burnett, Communication Specialist, National Park Service

National Park Service (NPS) staff contributed to the GOMECC-3 research cruise by collecting water samples. However, park staff weren’t on board the R/V Ronald H. Brown; they filled the sampling bottles at specific locations on-shore and near-shore within NPS parks. Park staff coordinated with the researchers at sea to make sure the samples were taken on the same day and on the same transect (line) from shore to ship. By now, all of the samples have been successfully collected and sent to NOAA.

In the NPS, we conserve 11,000 miles of coast and 2.5 million acres of ocean and Great Lake waters. Visitors can find ocean and coastal resources in 88 parks, and four of those parks participated in GOMECC-3: Dry Tortugas National Park, Everglades National Park, and Biscayne National Park in Florida and Padre Island National Seashore in Texas.

Here’s how it went at the different stops:

July 18: Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida
The sampling went well today, with just one minor hiccup: One of our team unscrewed the vent valve all the way, and it fell into the ocean. Luckily, we had snorkel gear and quickly recovered it. We only made that mistake once! Our 4-person team collected samples at two different sites. Shew!

August 1: Padre Island National Seashore in Texasnps1Charles Sassine pilots an airboat to the water sample collection point on August 1, 2017, in the waters of Padre Island National Seashore. The collection was made easier due the well packed and well equipped sampling kit received from NOAA.

nps2Travis Clapp prepares samples of water to send to NOAA. On the datasheet, Travis recorded time of day as well as depth, temperature, salinity, and O2 for 4 total samples.

August 18: Everglades National Park in Floridanps3Clockwise from top left: Vicki Absten drops the water sample collector into the ocean at Everglades National Park; Seawater is collected; Vicki pours the water sample into the Niskin bottle for shipment to NOAA; Vicki and Michael Jordan work together to seal the bottle.

Overall, everything went smoothly at all 4 parks, and we look forward to working together on future research projects!

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