Prior to developing a monitoring program it is essential to think through the scientific process and the steps necessary to create a program where the data collected match the monitoring objectives.
The choices you make about your monitoring program will be documented in a written monitoring plan.
It is recommended that organizations create a sub-committee of about 4-6 individuals to go through the study design process.
The individuals on the sub-committee will not be responsible for the entire program, but will be, for the direction monitoring will take. Members can include board members or a member of the organizational leadership, members concerned about water quality, and historian or members familiar with the watershed.
Once you begin monitoring, you should revisit your monitoring plan annually to determine if the data you are collecting are answering the initial questions that prompted monitoring and to determine if your methods are still appropriate.