National Estuarine Research Reserve System
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Sentinel Sites Guidance Document Now Available
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The NERRS Sentinel Sites Guidance Document, released in 2012, describes a general approach and establishes protocols and  methodology that define a NERRS Sentinel Sites Program for understanding the impacts of sea level/lake level change and inundation on coastal habitats. It builds upon more than 15 years of monitoring that has been conducted through the NERRS System-wide Monitoring Program. Because the NERRS are place-based, and have substantial current investment in infrastructure and data products that can inform national and regional coastal management issues, they are a foundational component of the overarching NOAA Sentinel Sites Program, which provides a collaborative framework for coordinating local and regional planning efforts with those of national  programs at NOAA.

The NERRS Sentinel Sites Program is focused on developing protocols and generating data products that can be compared across a network of reserves or reserve components. This ability to create a network of sentinel sites increases the capacity to address coastal management issues beyond the capacity provided by an unlinked group of separate sites. It establishes a framework that can stand alone to meet NERRS goals, while providing critical support to the larger NOAA effort.

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