AbstractCoastal environments are critical ecological systems and offer vital resources and functions to societies worldwide. As a major interface between terrestrial and ocean environments, coastal water bodies (rivers, estuaries, bays and coastal margins) provide key ecological services and are the major conduit and processors of terrestrially derived particulate and dissolved material as they are transported to the ocean. Consequently, coastal environments have been shown to play a major role in global bio-geochemical cycles and provide critical habitat for a host of marine species. Globally, these important environments are under considerable pressure from high population densities, increasing growth rates and are particularly vulnerable from the effects of projected climate change such as sea level rise and increased storm events. Despite their importance, significant gaps remain in our understanding of how these environments will respond to climate change, increasing human population, land use changes, and over exploitation of natural resources. This lack of understanding is due in part to the difficulties in developing effective monitoring and analysis programs using only a single measurement approach that is limited in its spatial and temporal coverage.We describe an integrated approach based on field measurements, remote sensing and numerical modeling that is being developed to examine the transport of dissolved (colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), dissolved organic carbon (DOC)) and particulate material (total suspended matter (TSM)) within a complex coastal system, the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System (APES), North Carolina USA. This integrated approach was established to overcome limitations associated with a single measurement and analysis approach. Field measurements and discrete samples are acquired using well-established protocols from small boats, bridges, and from the shore. Remotely sensed data are obtained from several sensors with diverse capabilities including SeaWiFS, MODIS, MERIS, HICO, Landsat and FORMOSAT-2. The numerical model Delft3D is used to simulate freshwater and DOC transport in the estuaries following major rainfall events that lead to high river discharge. Challenges associated with examining the APES using a single vs. an integrated measurement approach along with representative results from a broad suite of measurements are presented. Future advances in technology and refinements in our integrated approach are also considered.KeywordsTropical StormColored Dissolve Organic MatterOcean ColorTotal Suspended MaterNeuse River EstuaryThese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.