For the more information about water resources in the National Park Service, please visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/.
New and Noteworthy
Nearly 30 network Vital Signs Monitoring plans have been completed. Water quality and aquatic protocols are being produced for wadeable streams, large rivers, lakes and ponds, seeps and springs, wetlands and wetland habitats, groundwater, estuaries and marine areas, amphibians, macro-invertebrates, fish, stream flow, nutrients, and toxic contaminants. The emphasis for the Vital Signs Monitoring program will be to complete the remaining network plans and ensure that all aquatic monitoring protocols and standard operating procedures receive thorough peer reviews before they are approved and implemented. The water quality team will assist networks with these reviews and provide guidance on basic monitoring designs and the technical details of monitoring. In addition, networks will need assistance in recruiting and training skilled staff, acquiring appropriate instrumentation and analysis software, and initiating their aquatic monitoring.
Since 1999, more than $20 million has been allocated for USGS partnership water quality projects in parks. Through 2008, 145 partnership projects have been initiated in 104 national park units, and 122 of these projects have been completed. Five new projects were funded in FY2009 for a total of $451,300 ($1,258,800 when complete). Additional information on the program is available on the partnership website.
The NPS and USGS are exploring ways to expand the partnership concept to address other water resource needs in parks. These discussions culminated in the establishment of a liaison position in 2007 to facilitate increased communication and exchange of technical information between the agencies, and help develop new opportunities for water resources collaborative project work in parks. An example of an area that may be addressed is the need for more stream gauges in parks.
Last Updated: May 16, 2012