The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has monitored water quality in the Mississippi River Basin as part of the National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN) since 1995, applying a basinwide perspective to understanding water quality on a regional scale (Hooper and others, 1997). The objectives of the Mississippi River Basin NASQAN Program are to provide an ongoing characterization of the concentrations and mass fluxes of sediment and chemicals at key locations in the basin, to determine regional source areas for these materials, and to assess the effect of human influences on observed concentrations and fluxes. NASQAN complements the ongoing USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program, which is performing a detailed assessment in 23 subbasins within the Mississippi River Basin (Hirsch and others, 1988). NASQAN monitors the large rivers in the Mississippi River Basin, downstream of NAWQA study units. NASQAN, in conjunction with NAWQA, can provide the data and information needed by other USGS programs, Federal and State agencies, other segments of the scientific community, and by the public to address the present and future status of water quality in the Mississippi River Basin.