A user oriented resource for the design and implementation of environmental monitoring programs

Monitoring must have a clear purpose and must be linked to clearly stated management outcomes. Monitoring must be tailored to the circumstances, in both the physical and social environments, to be effective and to deliver useful outcomes .

We believe that time spent at the beginning will be repaid by a better understanding of your problem and a more useful program. Cutting corners may result in unusable data and a waste of resources.

What you will find

The site is structured to provide an introduction to environmental monitoring while also providing additional resources for those who want to explore particular issues in depth. The focus is on water quality monitoring, reflecting a key interest of the Sydney Coastal Councils Group, but the principles are applicable to all environmental monitoring programs. Using this site provides more information on the site content and how you might use it.

What you will not find

You will not find a step-by-step “recipe book” guide on how to carry out a sampling program. Every sampling program will have unique characteristics and these characteristics must be understood and incorporated into the program if it is to be effective. The site provides you with information and resources on the basic principles of all aspects of monitoring. Monitoring can be complex and this Toolkit is not intended to replace appropriate technical advice, especially in the area of design and statistical analysis.

Working in a context

Monitoring does not occur in isolation. The management intentions need to be conceived in the operational context of your organization and there are advantages if you can locate your program within an Environment Management System. Aspects of managing the program can be streamlined through integration with EMS components such as:

  • Document management
  • Procurement
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Training
  • Standard operating procedures