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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences and Duke University’s Marine Lab are jointly developing ferry-based water quality monitoring as a regional and national tool for assessing estuarine and coastal ecosystem health. In 2000, following massive flooding that inundated Pamlico Sound from hurricanes, the North Carolina Department of Transportation helped establish a pilot water quality monitoring program using the ferries. The FerryMon Program provides a unique, long-term and cost-effective “real-time” observing system to evaluate status and trends in Albemarle-Pamlico system water quality.