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Air Quality at Acadia National Park

What’s in the Air?

Map of Acadia NP in Maine
Acadia NP, Maine

Most visitors expect clean air and good visibility in parks. However, Acadia National Park (NP), Maine, is downwind from large urban and industrial areas in the states to the south and west. Polluted air coming from these areas is trapped by the park’s steep slopes and high peaks. Air pollutants can harm natural and scenic resources in the park such as surface waters, plants, soils, fish, birds, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Acadia National Park?

  • Elevated levels of nitrogen and sulfur in air pollution form acid rain and fog, which deposit into park ecosystems, and cause changes to lakes (ponds) and streams. more »
  • Mercury, a toxic air contaminant, deposits onto park waters and lands, posing a threat to birds, salamanders, fish, other wildlife, and humans. more »
  • Ground-level ozone in the park often reaches levels known to injure sensitive plants; ozone levels also exceed human health standards at times. more »
  • Fine particles of air pollution cause haze in the park, affecting how well and how far visitors can see vistas and landmarks. Fine particle levels can also exceed human health standards in the park. more »

What is the National Park Service doing about air pollution at the park?

  • Monitoring nitrogen, sulfur, mercury, ozone, fine particles, and haze to assess status and trends. more »
  • Evaluating the impacts of air pollution on park ecosystems. more »
  • Working with federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and public interest groups to develop strategies to reduce air pollution and protect and restore park resources. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Partnering to provide the environmentally friendly Island Explorer bus system for park visitors, reducing the number of vehicles on some of the busiest roads in the park. more »

Featured Content

Impacts icon

Pollutants including sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, ozone, and fine particles affect resources such as forests, streams, wildlife, and scenic vistas. Find out how on our Acadia NP Air Pollution Impacts web page.

Studies and Monitoring icon

Studies and monitoring help the NPS understand the environmental impacts of air pollution. Access air quality data and see what is happening with Studies and Monitoring at Acadia NP.

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Last Updated: February 03, 2016