CERTO has had a productive first year, despite worldwide travel and working restrictions throughout most of 2020, with successful fieldwork and desk-based studies undertaken.
The CERTO project got off to a great start in January 2020 with a two-day kick off meeting hosted by Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Partners from all seven institutes across Europe gave presentations on their work packages and discussed how they were going to work together towards the ultimate goal of harmonising water monitoring practices across marine, coast and inland areas.
This was closely followed by the first field campaign of the project on onboard the Dallaporta vessel in the North Adriatic Sea. The aim of the campaign was to characterize the hydrological, biogeochemical and sedimentological properties of the study area during the maximum river run-off phase – a period where limited previous data are available.
In total thirteen fieldwork activities have taken place in the Venice Lagoon and adjacent coastal waters during 2020 with about 90 sampling stations visited synchronously with satellite overpasses, collecting above-water reflectance, CTD and turbidity profiles, Secchi disk depth, water samplings for total suspended matter and chlorophyll-a concentrations.
The six-month progress meeting was necessarily held online, but this worked well and enabled more participants to attend than might have otherwise been possible, with representatives from all the work packages and over 20 people in attendance. The status of each workpackage and progress towards deliverables were discussed and this has been continued with bi-monthly online meetings of project participants.
In the latter part of the year some fieldwork has necessarily been delayed but progress has been made with determining community requirements and with optical water type classification using existing data. CERTO scientists have continued to present their work at online conferences and events and meet with each other online.
As we move into 2021, we hope to be able to continue with our fieldwork campaigns and work together to improve water quality monitoring across Europe and beyond.