Monitoring Sedimentation in Dausokele Estuary, Pohnpei, FSM


Monitoring Sedimentation in Dausokele Estuary, Pohnpei, FSM

The Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) was supplied with a PacIOOS nearshore sensor to support and inform an ongoing watershed monitoring project in Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. As part of the PacIOOS Water Quality Sensor Partnership Program (WQSPP), the instrument was deployed at the beginning of December 2018 in coastal waters to the east of the Pohnpei International Airport runway at a depth of 11m.

Sensor deployment Pohnpei

CSP and PacIOOS partners deploy the water quality nearshore sensor at Dausokele Estuary.

Land-based sedimentation can have severe impacts on the surrounding watersheds, compromising the water quality and the coastal habitat of coral reefs and fish. Inland development activities have purportedly increased in recent years, prompting the need to monitor sediment run-off from key watersheds. CSP and its partners have installed sediment traps along the Nanpil River estuary, but results to date are inconclusive. Measuring water quality conditions with an accurate sensor allows CSP to better understand the variations in water quality during different weather conditions, especially periods of heavy rain. The data acquired through this additional PacIOOS sensor will supplement existing data from the long-term PacIOOS station on the upper Nanpil River estuary. This project is expected to result in information that can guide the decision-making process on development regulations by the Pohnpei State Legislature.

PacIOOS staff trained CSP partners how to deploy, operate, and maintain the Sea Bird Electronics 16plus V2 water quality sensor. The instrument is remotely and accurately measuring temperature, salinity/conductivity, depth/pressure, turbidity, and chlorophyll at 15-minute intervals.

CSP Partners

Technical capacity training with CSP staff before the deployment of the sensor.

In June 2019, PacIOOS worked with the CSP Marine Team to download data from the nearshore sensor with the goal to build ocean observing capacity throughout the Pacific Islands region. PacIOOS also provided technical support and funding for the purchase and installation of rain gauges to track fresh water input into the watershed. Data from the rain gauges and the nearshore sensor will be downloaded quarterly by CSP staff and made available through the PacIOOS website in the near future.

CSP Training

CSP’s Marine Team and PacIOOS staff discuss the installation of rain gauges.

The Conservation Society of Pohnpei is a nongovernmental organization established to preserve and enhance Pohnpei’s natural biodiversity to protect its natural resources by promoting sustainable development. The project is managed by the Conservation Society of Pohnpei’s Marine Program in partnership with the Department of Pohnpei State Resource and Development, the Pohnpei State Office of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the University of Guam’s Marine Lab, and the Marine and Environmental Research Institute of Pohnpei.

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Did you know?

PacIOOS is the first regional association that was certified as a Regional Information Coordination Entity (RICE) by the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Certification provides NOAA and its interagency partners a means to verify that a regional association’s organizational and operational practices, including data management, meet recognized and established standards set by NOAA.