For two and a half decades, ModMon has provided valuable information on water quality and habitat conditions in the Neuse River Estuary and Pamlico Sound. These data are crucial for evaluating how conditions are changing in response to human and climatic pressures. ModMon has also served as a platform to support research projects aimed at figuring out how estuaries work from ecological, geological, physical, and biogeochemical perspectives.
Conditions on 4 June 2019 were pretty typical for this time of year. Salinities ranged from zero above New Bern to a maximum of about 15 in the bottom waters near the mouth. Stratification was not particularly intense except at station 160 which was influenced by saltier bottom water likely from the Intracoastal Waterway. Hypoxic conditions occurred throughout most of the length of the estuary but were confined to a thin, ~1 m thick, layer near the bottom. A zone of high DO, high pH, and high chlorophyll a was observed at station 30 near New Bern. Microscopic examination of surface waters from station 30 revealed a high concentration of cryptophytes that are generally good food for higher trophic levels, and don’t cause problems.