Coordination and quality assurance of the water quality element of the TBEP CCMP is accomplished through the Regional Ambient Monitoring Program (RAMP). The RAMP was initiated by TBEP in 1992, but is now coordinated by the local governments that run the monitoring programs throughout the Tampa Bay watershed and larger southwest Florida region. RAMP participants meet quarterly to collect water samples from a common container. Each program then has its own laboratory run the samples for a core group of parameters (TN, nitrate+nitrite, ammonia, TSS, TP, orthophosphate, color, turbidity, and chlorophyll a), and the RAMP participants compare their individual results. To date, the RAMP participants have worked out differences between laboratories for several critical parameters (e.g., chlorophyll, TN, TP, TSS) and continue to work on others (e.g., color).
For additional information about the SWFL RAMP, contact Matt Jablonski, SWFWMD (Matt.Jablonski@swfwmd.state.fl.us) or Natasha Dickrell, Pinellas County Environmental Management (firstname.lastname@example.org).