Old Woman Creek State Nature Preserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of the few remaining relatively natural freshwater estuaries in the Great Lakes region. On the south-central shore of Lake Erie, Old Woman Creek and lake water mix to form a unique ecosystem.
The 571-acre preserve provides critical habitat for native species and migrating birds and offers a unique opportunity to research the ecological benefits provided by these fragile estuarine systems.
To assist in the understanding and preservation of the estuary, an automated water monitoring system was installed at Old Woman Creek Nature Preserve. The system is part of a long-term data set collected at National Estuarine Research Reserves around the country.
Preserving an estuary
Two water quality monitoring stations were deployed: one where Old Woman Creek enters the preserve and another near the mouth of the estuary. At both stations, NexSens Technology 4100-iSIC data loggers with radio telemetry and YSI 6600 multi-parameter sondes with temperature, conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, depth, and turbidity sensors were installed.
At each site, water quality and hydrology data is collected by the data loggers, which then transmit the information via license-free, spread spectrum radio to a 4100-BASE receiver located at the Old Woman Creek visitor center. A base station computer connects to the radio receiver, and uploads data to NexSens’ WQData web datacenter. This data is used in environmental education as well as restoration and resource management decisions.
The NexSens X2 Environmental Data Logger offers the latest in real-time monitoring technology with wireless communication, large plug-and-play sensor library, and ultra-low power consumption.
The YSI EXO represents the next generation of water quality instruments from YSI. The EXO2 sonde includes six sensor ports and a central anti-fouling wiper option.
WQData LIVE is a web-based project management service that allows users 24/7 instant access to data collected from remote telemetry systems.