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Regional Water Quality Synthesis for Coastal Parks

Coastal environments include several habitats of concern for resource managers in coastal parks. Estuaries, beaches and nearshore areas are nursery grounds for many species of recreational and commercial importance, and they contribute significantly to visitor experience (e.g., boating, fishing, wildlife viewing) at coastal parks. Compromised water quality in coastal environments often results from regional population growth and local development. Water quality monitoring data collected by Inventory & Monitoring networks and coastal parks allow NPS to evaluate conditions and track trends within park boundaries. However, effective management of both estuarine and marine resources requires understanding water quality issues beyond park boundaries since most water quality problems originate there. Understanding this larger picture is a critical step in the successful management of coastal waters.

In 2012, our report, "Regional Water Quality Synthesis for Southeast Coastal Parks" was completed.

A similar project has been funded for coastal parks bordering the Gulf of Mexico. The goals of this project are to:

  1. acquire regional and state estuarine and marine water quality datasets for eight coastal parks bordering the Gulf of Mexico (DRTO, EVER, BICY, DESO, GUIS, JELA, BITH and PAIS),
  2. assess and compare water quality inside and outside park boundaries and
  3. provide individual park and Gulf-wide syntheses of the water quality data.

Last Updated: January 03, 2017