The Water-Quality Partnership for National Parks—U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service, 1998–2016
Fact Sheet 2016-3041
Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service
- Mark A. Nilles, Pete E Penoyer, Amy S. Ludtke, and Alan C. Ellsworth
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Park Service (NPS) work together through the USGS–NPS Water-Quality Partnership to support a broad range of policy and management needs related to high-priority water-quality issues in national parks. The program was initiated in 1998 as part of the Clean Water Action Plan, a Presidential initiative to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Partnership projects are developed jointly by the USGS and the NPS. Studies are conducted by the USGS and findings are used by the NPS to guide policy and management actions aimed at protecting and improving water quality.
The National Park Service manages many of our Nation’s most highly valued aquatic systems across the country, including portions of the Great Lakes, ocean and coastal zones, historic canals, reservoirs, large rivers, high-elevation lakes and streams, geysers, springs, and wetlands. So far, the Water-Quality Partnership has undertaken 217 projects in 119 national parks. In each project, USGS studies and assessments (http://water.usgs.gov/nps_partnership/pubs.php) have supported science-based management by the NPS to protect and improve water quality in parks. Some of the current projects are highlighted in the NPS Call to Action Centennial initiative, Crystal Clear, which celebrates national park water-resource efforts to ensure clean water for the next century of park management (http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/crystalclear/).
New projects are proposed each year by USGS scientists working in collaboration with NPS staff in specific parks. Project selection is highly competitive, with an average of only eight new projects funded each year out of approximately 75 proposals that are submitted. Since the beginning of the Partnership in 1998, 189 publications detailing project findings have been completed. The 217 studies have been conducted in 119 NPS-administered lands, extending from Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska to Everglades National Park in Florida, and from Acadia National Park in the Northeast to park lands in Hawaii and Pacific Island territories in the West. Project goals range from periodic stream monitoring, to determining the occurrence and concentrations of contaminants and the potential for them to exceed human health or aquatic life criteria, to conducting interpretive studies to evaluate the effect(s) on or vulnerability of national park resources to visitor usage and other natural and anthropogenic activities.
Nilles, M.A., Penoyer, P.E., Ludtke, A.S., and Ellsworth, A.C., 2016, The Water-Quality Partnership for national parks—U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service, 1998–2016: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3041, 6 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163041.
ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)
Table of Contents
- Examples of Partnership Studies and Science-Based Management
- References Cited
Additional publication details
- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- USGS Numbered Series
- The Water-Quality Partnership for National Parks—U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service, 1998–2016
- Series title:
- Fact Sheet
- Series number:
- Year Published:
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Publisher location:
- Reston, VA
- Contributing office(s):
- National Water Quality Program
- 6 p.
- United States
- Online Only (Y/N):
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