Scientists from Coastal Carolina University's Environmental Quality Laboratory are working with the City of North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach and Horry County to establish ocean water quality and weather monitoring stations at three fishing piers along the Grand Strand.
Information from these stations is now being relayed every 15 minutes to a public website located at: http://www.ysieconet.com/public/WebUI/Default.aspx?hidCustomerID=131.
The stations are located at the Cherry Grove, Apache and Second Ave. piers. On Wednesday, Aug.15, from 10 a.m. to noon, CCU science faculty, municipal officials and pier staff will be on hand at the Cherry Grove pier to demonstrate the operation of the equipment and discuss the information being collected.
The monitoring stations measure temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, turbidity and acidity (pH) in the surface and bottom waters at the seaward ends of the piers. Water depth is also being reported. Weather information being relayed includes air temperature, barometric pressure, rainfall, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity.
The municipalities have committed to support ongoing efforts at protecting and enhancing water quality as part of their stormwater management programs. This includes providing public access to local ocean water quality and weather information. Interest in conducting this work was stimulated by the recent discovery of unusually low oxygen levels in the nearshore waters along the Grand Strand.
For more information, call Susan Libes, program director of CCU's Environmental Quality Laboratory at 843-349-4028.