Monitoring Coordinators Network

To fulfill the goals of its CCMP, MassBays relies on citizen monitoring carried out by community-based environmental organizations for help. In fact, nonprofit, citizen-led efforts are the primary source of current water quality and pathogen data for most of our region.

Our goals:

  1. To bring volunteer-generated data—which in many cases have been inaccessible to decisionmakers—to bear on policy and management decisions.
  2. To support citizen monitoring groups in meeting their own goals for volunteer recruitment and training, data collection and analysis, and long-term sustainability.


Over the past few years MassBays has been developing tools to assist communities, nonprofits and their volunteers in conducting their tasks (including monitoring, restoration, conservation) and helping them succeed. Importantly, these successes need to be shared with the communities in order to garner more support for future work, such as removal of a dam, building fish passage, replacing damaging culverts, and designing and construction stormwater BMPs to improve water and habitat quality. With the dedicated partners  MassBays aims to evolve the monitoring coordinators’ network into an effective means for collaboration. We have several initiatives underway or completed and many others planned. 

Accessing Community-based monitoring data for decision making

With funding from EPA's Exchange Network Program, MassBays is building tools to support community-based monitoring. MassBays presented a poster about the first phase of this project during Restore America's Estuaries' National Coastal and Estuarine Research Summit in September 2020.


MassBays is producing a suite of tools and trainings to help community-based  monitoring groups collect data that can be used for decision making, and for our own State of the Bays reporting. Completed components include:

  • An online application, AquaQAPP to help project managers develop quality assurance project plans that are considered pre-approved by MassDEP and should be acceptable to EPA Region 1.
  • A web-based Ecohealth Tracking Tool for visualizing water quality and habitat conditions and trends.
  • circuit rider program to provide one-on-one technical support, develop and present training workshops, and connect local groups to national resources.
  • Training to facilitate uploading community-generated data to WQX, EPA's national data management and archiving system.

Check out the MassBays Tools for Environmental Monitoring Programs above to see the growing suite of innovative, cool and user friendly tools we have been developing to support groups collect meaningful and scientifically robust data to share with their audiences.

Monitoring Programs Across MassBays

Click on the pins to find out what monitoring programs are underway in your embayment and information about the program and how you can help.