European project MONITOOL : new tools for monitoring the chemical status in transitional and coastal waters under the WFD

The protection of waters in Europe is regulated by the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which is mandatory for all European Union members. Detecting and monitoring the level of contaminants in seawater and inland waterways is a key element of the WFD.

In many cases it is very difficult or even impossible, by traditional techniques so, there is an urgent need to find accurate, reliable, easy and cost-efficient alternatives.

The main driver of MONITOOL project – New tools for monitoring the chemical status in transitional and coastal waters under the WFD – is to respond to European Directive demands for the assessment of chemical status of transitional and coastal waters, allowing the use of passive sampling devices in a regulatory context, enhancing the implementation of the WFD.

MONITOOL aims to provide a robust database of dissolved and labile metal concentrations in transitional and coastal waters for adapting existing Environmental Quality Standards (EQS; 0.45 µm filtered) suitable EQS-DGT for passive sampling devices in order to evaluate the chemical status of the waters under the WFD.

During MONITOOL project, co-deployments of DGTs and water spot sampling and subsequent DGT and water metal analysis across the Atlantic region will be addressed to determine suitable EQS-DGTs for metals.

Priority metals to be studied are: cadmium, nickel and lead, but others such us aluminium, silver, cobalt, copper, chrome, iron, manganese and zinc will be also considered.

Involvement of Ifremer in the project

Several Ifremer laboratories are involved in Monitool project: ARC (RBE/BE), LBCM (BE), LERN, LER BO, LERMPL & LERPC.

As the other partners of the project, Ifremer participates in the DGT deployment  and water sampling. .Five sites are sampled in 2018, during the two sampling campaigns: Port-en-Bessin, Sillon des Anglais (in Rade de Brest), Saint-Nazaire, Saumonard and Fontenelles (Charente estuary).

Ifremer is in charge of the DGT analysis for all the Monitool project, the organization of an interlaboratory test around all partners. Ifremer is also in charge of the EQS adaptation and Chemical Status Assessment Work Package (WP), which aims to provide a methodology to determine how DGT results for nickel, lead and cadmium, can be used in a regulatory context for waterbodies quality assessment. 


Dublin City University (Leader), Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias, Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, AZTI, Institut Français de Recherche pour l’ Exploitation de la Mer, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Instituto Superior Técnico, The Scottish Government, Foras na Mara, Consejo Insular de Aguas de Gran Canaria, Viceconsejería de Medioambiente del Gobierno de Canarias, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, Agence Française pour la Biodiversité, Agencia Vasca del Agua, Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente.

MONITOOL PROJECT - New tools for monitoring the chemical status in transitional and coastal waters under the WFD - is co-financed by Interreg Atlantic Area Programme (2014-2020) and has a duration of three years, from July 2017 until June 2020.

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