RECON keeps SCCF updated on water quality data from a distance
Despite the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s facilities being closed due to the coronavirus COVID-19 threat, the SCCF Marine Lab still has a number of tools available to provide important water quality data to researchers as they work from home.
The River, Estuary and Coastal Observing Network (RECON) provides real-time updates from throughout the Caloosahatchee estuary and helps SCCF scientists monitor the health of the waterways, even when they cannot get into the field to take samples in person. The data is available to the public at recon.sccf.org and includes several weather stations as well as wave, current and water temperature data that boaters and anglers may find useful.
Through a partnership with the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the lab also maintains three water quality sondes deployed in the backwaters of the refuge. The sondes are like compact versions of the larger and more robust RECON sensors, and the data they collect helps refuge personnel make important management decisions.
In addition, two rain gauges and flow sensors along the Sanibel River keep SCCF researchers and Sanibel Natural Resources Department staff informed on water levels in the island’s central slough. By managing the levels through water control structures, city officials can prevent flooding and preserve the island’s important freshwater wetlands.