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NewsLetter: Progress Update of the Global Estuaries Monitoring (GEM) Programme

Dear GEM collaborators,


We hope this email finds you well. We are writing to provide you with a comprehensive update on the progress of the Global Estuaries Monitoring (GEM) Programme.

Since its inception, the GEM Programme has been making significant strides in its mission to develop a global network for monitoring contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in major urbanized estuaries worldwide. With the participation of 126 scientists from 55 countries, a total of 178 estuaries have been registered up to now, demonstrating the widespread interest and commitment to this important initiative.

Over the past seven months, we have successfully approved 68 sampling proposals, covering 118 global estuaries. We are pleased to inform you that sampling kits are being dispatched in batches according to the proposed sampling dates provided by our esteemed collaborators. To date, we have collected samples from 59 estuaries across the globe, with nine estuaries completing sampling in both dry and wet seasons. This data will provide valuable insights into the pollution situation and help identify priority contaminants for control (Please see the figure below).

Looking ahead, we would like to emphasize the importance of submitting your sampling proposals by the end of September 2024, as we plan to conclude the first phase of the programme's sampling by the end of this year. We anticipate launching the second phase in 2025 and will provide timely updates on further research and collaboration plans to continue our collective efforts in creating cleaner estuaries.

We would like to remind partners who have not yet submitted their sampling information to take immediate action by following the steps below.

Step 1

Please read through the following four attachments, (1) Sampling protocol, (2) Sampling labels, (3) Data log for the sampling, and (4) Example data log, which will guide you through the sampling process. For tutorial videos, please visit our website:

Step 2

Please propose your sampling information in this questionnaire: We will contact you in batches to confirm and finalize the sampling location and arrange the delivery.

Step 3

After the sampling, please visit the second questionnaire and upload your data log:

Please also notify us through and confirm the delivery arrangement back to us.

Please be kindly reminded that four locations in one estuary are preferably selected as follow: A) upstream of the river (above urban area); B) downstream of the river (passing through urban area); C) inner estuary and D) outer estuary.

Please also be noted that in our new version of Sampling Protocol (can be downloaded from the website:, it has been indicated that all water samples should be stored at 4 °C after sampling. Please do NOT freeze the water samples to avoid breakage of the glass bottles.

We highly encourage the sampling team to attach your photos in the data log (The new version can be downloaded from the website: or send us videos via email ( on the GEM sampling campaign. You can also record your thoughts and feedback on GEM Programme in the video. We will regularly share the work of our collaborators through channels such as the GEM website.

[Upcoming Events]

As mentioned in our previous communication, we are excited to announce two major events taking place in April this year. These events will serve as platforms for participants to connect with action partners, receive updates on the progress of the GEM programme, foster new partnerships, and engage in discussions regarding collaborative projects and action plans for the upcoming phase of GEM. We extend a warm invitation to all interested individuals to join us, either in person or virtually.

For detailed information about these events, please refer to the following links:

We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for your continued support and participation in the GEM Programme. Together, we can make a significant impact in monitoring and improving the health of estuaries worldwide.

If you have any further inquiries or require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you once again for your dedication and commitment to the GEM Programme.

With very best wishes,


Dr. Chong Chen, Program Manager

On behalf of Prof. Kenneth M. Y. Leung, Principal Investigator

State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution (SKLMP), City University of Hong Kong


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