Salish Sea Ambient Monitoring Exchange (SSAMEX)

The new Salish Sea Ambient Monitoring Exchange (SSAMEx) represents a forum to harmonize and exchange ambient marine monitoring data in the trans-boundary waters of British Columbia and Washington State.


Harmonization Projects in Progress  Benthic taxonomic and biomass assessment protocols (Biologica Environmental Services/Washington State Dept...

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Monitoring Partners

Canadian and US monitoring includes Regional Districts, Counties, federal and state programs.  Examples follow:  ...

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Methods - Sediments

This page contains links to methods documents for sampling sediment conventionals, benthos, and contaminants. Please...

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Various monitoring organizations in the Salish Sea conduct similar sampling. Limited budgets mean that coverage may be less than optimal. Sharing data with other organizations is highly desirable, but is limited by concerns about data quality, methodology, instrumentation and data management. The SSAMEx program is designed to address these concerns and promote harmonization, particularly of background or ambient data.

Program Goals

  • Enhance trans-boundary  collaboration in quality, methodology and sampling parameters for regional research goals
  • Facilitate exchange of high quality monitoring data among partners
  • Fill data gaps and establish baselines for ambient (background) habitat and biotic conditions throughout the Salish Sea
  • Document time-trends in background marine environmental conditions
  • Complement the BC coast-wide Pollution Tracker Project (PTP) at the Vancouver Aquarium

The program will rely upon existing monitoring programs, and aims to; 1) harmonize sampling and laboratory methods and quality control so they are inter-comparable, 2) negotiate the inclusion of a common suite of sampling tools, 3)  expand geographic coverage of monitoring to allow temporal analysis of ecosystem functioning on a regional scale, 4) facilitate open data exchange between participants, 5) provide high quality data for archiving and dissemination by appropriate agencies, 6) facilitate and support specific research initiatives of interest to collaborators, and ultimately 7) provide regular, high level analysis and reporting of the data collected to participants.