Monitoring and research

Environmental monitoring is the measurement of environmental parameters at regular intervals over extended periods of time. Monitoring allows the assessment of environmental and biological changes in an ecosystem, with the goal of distinguishing natural fluctuations from abnormal changes as well as identifying cause-and-effect relationships between changes in the environment and changes in the biological community. Monitoring is essential to measure the progress and effectiveness of conservation measures, but even more valuable is the monitor-ing of marine systems over very long periods of time to detect biological trends in response to natural and human-induced perturbations in the environment.