The Portland Area Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Program (PAWMAP) is a coordinated long-term monitoring effort designed to measure the city’s current and changing ecological resources. The program systematically measures changes in habitat, water quality and biological communities over time.
PAWMAP samples the following components along perennial and intermittent streams across Portland:
- In-stream and riparian habitat
- Water quality including temperature, oxygen, pathogens, and metals
- Riparian birds
PAWMAP Study Design
PAWMAP’s methods and protocol are based on a national monitoring program called EMAP (Environmental Monitoring and Assessment). The National Aquatic Resource Surveys uses the same protocol to routinely monitor the nation’s aquatic resources.
Environmental Services selects monitoring sites using probabilistic survey design. Each year, PAWMAP staff sample a rotating panel of 20 perennial and 12 intermittent stations. In years 1 through 4, staff sample different stations each year. In years 5-8 and thereafter, staff re-sample the initial four panels every four years.
Data collected at individual sites is generalized to be representative of the entire watershed.
This comprehensive citywide monitoring approach saves money by consolidating monitoring efforts, finds the source of environmental issues, and helps the city meet regulations that protect our rivers and streams.
PAWMAP incorporates some monitoring information from the Columbia and Willamette rivers, but only a limited amount. The protocols for PAWMAP are primarily for smaller river systems. Environmental Services is developing an approach for incorporating large river monitoring into PAWMAP.
For more information, see the Environmental Services Science Integration Division.