Integrated Nutrient Observatory

Overview: Over the past several years, NERACOOS and its partners have tested and deployed a prototype automated nutrient monitoring observatory in the coastal and estuarine waters of the Northeast. The goal of ths effort was to demonstrate the delivery of high frequency nutrient data to scientists, managers, and policy makers.

An award from the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Ocean Techology Transition (OTT) program has funded this project. The nutrient observatory is currently transitioning into an operational service and is being supported but IOOS and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

News and Events

February 2019: NERACOOS has rescheduled the Integrated Nutrient Observatory Webinar Series. We apologize for any inconvenice caused by the postponement due to the partial government shutdown. Below Please find the new schedule for the webinars which will highlight the outcomes of this project.

Nutrient Observatory Webinar One
Thursday February 28, 2019 at 1:00 PM ET

"Nutrient Dynamics in the Gulf of Maine: New Insights Gained via Moored SUNA Nitrate Sensors"
Presented by Dave Townsend, University of Maine

"Initial Observations of Nitrate and Phosphate from Western Long Island Sound"
Presented by Kay Howard-Strobel, University of Connecticut

Register here for this webinar.

Nutrient Observatory Webinar Two
Thursday March 7, 2019 at 1:00 PM ET

"Nutrient Variability in Great Bay, NH"
Presented by Tom Gregory, University of New Hampshire

"Nutrient Monitoring in Narragansett Bay"
Presented by Heather Stoffel, University of Rhode Island

Register here for this webinar.

Nutrient Observatory Webinar Three
Friday March 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM ET

"Transitioning State-of-the-Art Nutrient Sensing Technology to Develop an Operational Nutrient Observatory for NERACOOS"
Presented by Andrew Barnard, Sea-Bird Scientific

"Lessons Learned from Operating and Maintaining Automated Nutrient Sensors on Operational Buoy Systems in the Northeast"
Presented by Nutrient Sensor Operators

"NERACOOS Integrated Nutrient Observatory Data Access"
Presented by Riley Young-Morse, Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Register here for this webinar.

Winter 2019: NERACOOS will be hosting a series of webinars to highlight the outcomes of the Nutrient Observatory project. Throughout this webinar series you will learn about the nutrient data collected, the sensors deployed, and the challenges and lessons learned from operating automated nutrient sensors in various marine systems in the Northeast.

This webinar series will be on hold until the partial government shutdown is resolved. Once the shutdown has ended, we will send out the webinar schedule and registration information. We appreciate your patience and look forward to sharing the results of this project with you

Spring 2016: Deployement and redeployement in Great Bay, Gulf of Maine and Long Island Sound. 

December 2015: Sensor training at the University of Connecticut 

June 6, 2015: NERACOOS Buoys E and I were re-deployed with nitrate sensors at a depth of 50m and the data from these sensors will be available through our data buoy map after the sensors have been calibrated.

May 26, 2015: Great Bay Sensor Workshop

April 22, 2015: The great Bay buoy was deployed on April 22nd with two new automated nutrient sensors. These sensors will measure nitrate and phosphate concentrations in Great Bay several times a day. 


Project Partners:


Funded by:


Project Schedule:

Below are the tentative deployement dates of nutrient sensors throughout the NERACOOS Region. 

Spring 2017:

  • Narragansett Bay Deployment, Narragansett Bay Commission 

Spring 2016:

  • Long Island Sound Deployment, University of Connecticut 
  • Great Bay Re-Deployment, University of New Hampshire
  • Gulf of Maine Buoy E, I, M & N, University of Maine

April 2015:

  • Great Bay Deployment, University of New Hampshire

May 2015:

  • Great Bay Estuary Stakeholder workshop

June 2015:

  • Buoy E and I Deployment, University of Maine

​July 2015:

  • Long Island Sound Deployment, University of Connecticut

September 2015:

  • Buoy M and N Deployement, University of Maine


Nutrient Sensor Information:

NERACOOS will deploy several automated nutrient sensors that will be integrated into our buoy systems and will deliver nutrient readings several times a day.

Ammonium (NH4) – WET Labs CYCLE-NH4 Ammonium Sensor

  • Designed for unattended long-term moored operations, the Cycle NH4 is one  of WET Labs' line of single analyte chemical sensors.

Nitrate (NO3) – Satlantic SUNA V2

  • This nitrate sensor is a chemical-free solution for autonomous monitoring of nitrogen-based nutrient concentrations in ocean, estuarine and high turbidity freshwater environments.

Phosphate (PO4) – WET Labs Cycle Phosphate Sensor

  • Designed for unattended long-term moored operations, the Cycle PO4 is the first of WET Labs' line of single analyte chemical sensors.