The National Monitoring Network was designed by the Council and more than 80 stakeholders in response to a recommendation by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy in 2004. The Network integrates biological, chemical, and physical features and links uplands to the coastal ocean. It is, in reality, comprised of a “network of networks” and represents an integrated, multidisciplinary, and multi-organizational approach that leverages diverse sources of data and information; augments existing monitoring programs; and links observational capabilities.
The National Network of Reference Watersheds is a collaborative and multipurpose network of minimally disturbed watersheds and monitoring sites. The purpose of the NNRW is to allow users to search the NNRW database of reference watersheds, to identify watersheds of interest, and download watershed information and water quality data. The current scope of the network is limited to freshwater streams. Membership in the network is voluntary and open to individuals, agencies, and institutions interested in participating in monitoring and (or) research in minimally disturbed and pristine watersheds.