Did you know that ferries are used to monitor water quality? North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) ferries that cross the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound estuaries are collecting water quality data as part of a unique program called “FerryMon”. These ferries are tracking the health of the nation’s second largest estuary and North Carolina’s most important fisheries and recreational resource via automated water quality monitoring systems.
Data is collected and downloaded to the UNC-Chapel Hill marine laboratories in Morehead City, where it is processed and made available to state and federal environmental and fisheries agencies, educational institutions, and public and private outreach sources. Information is used to determine water quality effects of events such as storms, hurricanes, nutrient and pollution discharge, and to establish a database which can monitor water quality status and trends. Most importantly, FerryMon data is used to determine the essential ingredients for long-term environmental management and protection of Pamlico Sound’s precious resources.