|The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) contracted this study to compile,
assess, and integrate known information sources and data sets related to water quality for
the MBNEP area. This study has been performed parallel to corollary baseline
characterization efforts for living resources and habitat loss, and in conjunction with
development of an overall Data and Information Management System (DIMS) to support
these efforts. The baseline studies are intended to ensure that: 1) the MBNEP
characterization is focused on the highest priority information needs, and 2) that
assessments are obtained on information gaps to properly evaluate the possible problems
prior to delineation of the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP).
Specific objectives of this Preliminary Characterization of Water Quality were identified
- Conduct a literature baseline survey of all existing water quality
information for the MBNEP study area. Evaluate literature for similarity
- Identify and evaluate the existing water quality data sets for the MBNEP
study area and comment on validity.
- Identify data gaps from the existing water quality data sets.
- Recommend additional water quality data collection and/or analysis for
identified gaps and/or for parameters, areas, or problems incurred from
nonexistent, lacking, or unreliable data/analysis.
- Produce a historical water quality data characterization summary.
To address these objectives, project team members from Thompson Engineering with
TAI Environmental Sciences, and supported by Wayne C. Isphording, Ph.D., have striven
to incorporate all known water quality information sources into a user-friendly format for
assessing the current water quality of the Mobile Bay estuarine system. An electronic
Information Record Database was established to catalog and manage the many diverse
information resources that have been compiled from a comprehensive search of literature
and data pertaining to water quality in the MBNEP area prior to 1998. This database is comprised of
over 850 information records identifying existing data sets and information sources, and
has been used by project team researchers to evaluate the water quality information and
identify data gaps.