IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research


Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Monitoring of coastal and transitional waters under the E.U. Water Framework Directive
Ferreira, J.G.; Vale, C.; Soares, C.V.; Salas, F.; Stacey, P.E.; Bricker, S.B.; Silva, M.C.; Marques, J.C. (2007). Monitoring of coastal and transitional waters under the E.U. Water Framework Directive. Environ. Monit. Assess. 135(1-3): 195-216.
In: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. Kluwer: Dordrecht. ISSN 0167-6369, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Coastal waters; Estuaries; Management; Marine
Author keywords
    coastal waters; estuary; transitional waters; surveillance monitoring;operational monitoring; investigative monitoring; EU water frameworkdirective; 2000/60/EC; US clean water act; management; MONAE

Authors  Top 
  • Ferreira, J.G.
  • Vale, C.
  • Soares, C.V.
  • Salas, F.
  • Stacey, P.E.
  • Bricker, S.B.
  • Silva, M.C.
  • Marques, J.C.

    A set of guidelines are presented for the definition of monitoring plans in coastal and transitional (estuarine and lagoonal) systems subject to the European Union Water Framework Directive - WFD (2000/60/EC). General principles of best practice in monitoring are outlined, including (a) the definition of three types of broad management objectives: water quality, conservation, and human use, to which the general public may easily relate. These will define the core and research indicators (WFD quality elements) to be used for monitoring; (b) priorities and optimisation in a (financially and logistically) resource-constrained environment; (c) quality assurance; and (d) assessment of monitoring success: this should focus on the outputs, i.e. the internal audit of the monitoring activity, and on the outcomes. The latter component assesses programme effectiveness, i.e. environmental success based on a set of clearly-defined targets, and informs management action. The second part of this work discusses the approach and actions to be carried out for implementing WFD surveillance, operational and investigative monitoring. Appropriate spatial and temporal scales for surveillance monitoring of different indicators are suggested, and operational monitoring is classified into either screening or verification procedures, with an emphasis on the relationship between drivers, pressure, state and response. WFD investigative monitoring is interpreted as applied research, and thus guidelines cannot be prescriptive, except insofar as to provide examples of currently acceptable approaches. Specific case studies are presented for both operational (coastal eutrophication control) and investigative monitoring (harmful algal blooms), in order to illustrate the practical application of these monitoring guidelines. Further information is available at

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors