CCEM - Protocols and Operational Information

Nekton sampling
A CACO technician throws a one meter square throw-trap to sample nekton in a park estuary. 

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The Cape Cod Ecosystem Monitoring (CCEM) program maintains a variety of responsibilities including:
  • developing an ecosystem monitoring program that is scientifically sound and relevant to management of park resources;
  • testing inventory and monitoring methods;
  • developing and implementing long-term monitoring protocols;
  • conducting studies to help refine monitoring questions and to interpret monitoring results;
  • and sharing our experience and technical expertise with other parks and monitoring networks along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts
The following documents provide information on how we approach these objectives. Click on a highlighted report-type to view a table of available documents.

Long-Term Monitoring Protocols
Monitoring Program Development
Operational Information
Annual Administrative Reports and Work Plans

Long Term Monitoring Protocols
The table below summarizes the status of protocol development and provides links to completed protocols and related documents, where available. The CCEM program has instituted an ecosystem approach to monitoring and hence, you will find the protocols grouped by major-ecosystem type. You may also want to look at the Protocol Database assembled by the National Inventory and Monitoring Program - this data base provides links to protocols developed for other parks and monitoring networks. See below the table for an explanation of terms found in the Priority column.

Estuaries and Salt Marshes
Protocol Type Author Status Related Publications Priority
Estuarine Nutrient Enrichment Kopp, B.S. and Neckles, H.A. 2007. Protocol NA Essential
Salt Marsh Sedimentation Rate Response to Sea-Level Rise Cahoon, D.R., et al. 2006 Protocol NA Full
Salt Marsh Vegetation James-Pirri, M. and Roman, C.T. 2004. Revision of Roman, C.T., et al. 2001. Protocol NA Essential
Beaches, Spits, and Barrier Islands
Protocol Type Author Status Related Publications Priority
Geomorphic Shoreline Change Psuty, N.P., et al. In Development Draft Protocol Essential
Piping Plovers Erwin, R.W., et al. 2003. Protocol NA Full
Ponds and Freshwater Wetlands
Protocol Type Author Status Related Publications Priority
Kettle Pond Water Quality Portnoy, J., et. al. 2003. Protocol NA Essential
Pond Vegetation NA In Development NA Full
Vernal Wetland Vegetation NA In Development NA Full
Coastal Uplands
Protocol Type Author Status Related Publications Priority
Dune Grassland Vegetation NA In Development NA Full
Coastal Forests NA In Development Draft Protocol Full
Protocol Type Author Status Related Publications Priority
Meteorological and Atmospheric Monitoring Multiple Authors. 2001. Protocol NA Essential
Hydrology McCobb, T.D. and Weiskel, P.K. 2002. Protocol NA Essential
Ground-Water Quality

Colman, J.A Masterson, J.P.

Protocol NA Full

Essential - Fundamental components of a basic long-term monitoring program that will enhance CACO's ability to respond to long-term management issues.
Full - Key components of a long-term ecosystem monitoring program that will address high priority management issues at CACO, and meet Prototype responsibilities to the Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network and the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Biogeographic Region.
Expanded - Components that will complement the projects listed above to provide a more complete understanding of ecosystem change.

A CACO fire crew monitors a prescribed burn
A CACO fire crew monitors a prescribed burn coordinated with park scientists to better understand the effects of fire on Phragmites australis, an invasive plant, in a restored salt marsh.

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Monitoring Strategy Reports - top of page
The following reports provide a conceptual basis for the CCEM program. A closer examination of the three documents will reveal how monitoring development and implementation has evolved given limited time and resources.

Operational Information - top of page
The CCEM program has ever changing responsibilities at a variety of levels. The following reports describe the ways in which we approach certain objectives.


Last updated: April 16, 2024

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