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Environmental monitoring represents a major application domain for wireless sensor networks. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of low-power wireless sensor networks for long-term, autonomous, and near-real-time environmental monitoring applications. We have developed a suite of networking protocols to provide reliable data collection with extremely low power consumption. A network of 35 sensor nodes has been deployed in a remote field station to monitor soil moisture along with other environmental parameters. The system has been integrated into the Texas Environmental Observatory infrastructure for long-term operation. Some field performance results are also presented to demonstrate the reliability and energy-efficiency of the network.