For the more information about water resources in the National Park Service, please visit

  • A Call to Action: Crystal Clear
  • Virgin River in Zion
  • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
  • Gros Ventre River Floodplain
  • Sol Duc Falls
  • Madison River
  • Grand Prismatic Spring

Water Resources

It is the mighty river that roars forcefully, the babbling brook that murmurs its lullaby, the aquatic life below the surface that we protect, preserve, and manage; because without it life could not endure.

WRD Division Brief

Protecting Water

The Water Resources Division (WRD) is one of eight divisions that make up the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science (NRSS) Directorate of the National Park Service. WRD was established to provide servicewide program management and specialized advice and assistance to parks in the protection and management of water resources. The division is comprised of three branches: Aquatic Systems, Ocean & Coastal Resources, and Water Rights.

The Water Resources Division (WRD) exists to ensure that current and future generations can experience healthy aquatic ecosystems in the National Park System. WRD provides assistance, expertise, and guidance for aquatic ecosystem stewardship. WRD provides its services directly to parks through a broad range of programs in the areas of fisheries, natural resource condition assessments, information management, hydrology, ocean & coastal resources, wetlands, water quality, and water rights.

Featured Content

A Call to Action: Crystal Clear

A Call to Action

By 2016, the National Park Service will complete at least 30 projects in parks that restore watersheds, monitor and improve water quality and wildlife habitats, and maintain opportunities to experience these treasured resources. Learn more...

Hydrographic Statistics

Park ranger and intern taking water quality samples.

Hydrographic and Clean Water Act impairment statistics are now available for all parks based on the high-resolution National Hydrography Dataset and the latest available state 303(d) impairment lists. Learn more...

Find Your Ocean and Coastal Park

Find Your Ocean and Coastal Park

The National Park Service is entrusted with managing 86 ocean and Great Lakes parks found in 26 states. Established for their beauty and national significance, these parks conserve over 11,000 miles of coast and 2.5 million acres of ocean and Great Lakes waters. Use the map on the following page to find your ocean and coastal park. Learn more...

Ocean & Coastal Park Maps


The Ocean & Coastal Resources Branch has developed two new series of maps. The first depicts park boundaries, coastal bathymetry, and terrestrial and water features. The second describes seafloor habitat in several coastal national parks. A report with statistics on park shoreline length and water acreage is also available. Learn more...

Marine Ecosystem Data Viewer

Marine Ecosystem Data

This data viewer provides an interactive look at the abundance and distribution of biological, physical, and socioeconomic information within coral reef parks to support more effective management and conservation of ocean resources within these parks. Learn more...

Colorado River Parks

Colorado River

The National Park Service administers nine parks, recreation areas and monuments along the Colorado River and its key tributaries. It is also the most protected major river corridor in the world. Learn more...

Last Updated: January 03, 2017