BASMAA Regional Monitoring Coalition Five-Year Bioassessment Report: Water Years 2012 – 2016

BASMAA Regional Monitoring Coalition Five-Year Bioassessment Report: Water Years 2012 – 2016

  • 23 August 2019
  • Author: Geoff Brosseau
  • Number of views: 1699

Biological assessment (bioassessment) is an evaluation of the condition of a waterbody based on the organisms living within it. In 2009, theBay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) Regional Monitoring Coalition (RMC) developed a bioassessment monitoring program to answer management questions identified in the Municipal Regional Stormwater National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit (referred to as the Municipal Regional Permit or MRP). 

  • Are water quality objectives, both numeric and narrative, being met in local receiving waters, including creeks, rivers and tributaries? 
  • Are conditions in local receiving waters supportive or likely to be supportive of beneficial uses?

The RMC’s monitoring design addresses these management questions on a regional Bay Area scale and allows for comparison of monitoring results across the five participating counties.

This report compiles and evaluates bioassessment data collected over the first five years of monitoring. Three key questions, essential to watershed management, are addressed:

  1. What is the biological condition of perennial and non-perennial streams in the region?
  2. What stressors are associated with poor condition?
  3. Are conditions changing over time?  

The findings are intended to help stormwater programs better understand the current condition of these water bodies, prioritize stream reaches in need of protection or restoration, and identify stressors that are likely to pose the greatest risk to the health of streams in the Bay Area.

This report also evaluates the existing RMC monitoring design and identifies a range of potential options for revising the design (if desired) to better address the questions posed. These options area intended to provide considerations for discussion during the planning for reissuance of the Municipal Regional Permit, which is likely to be adopted in 2020 or 2021.  

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