Region 1: EPA New England
This report contains accumulated data from the first phase of a two phased probability based monitoring study of wadeable streams throughout the New England region. The report represents the compilation of water chemistry analyses, in-stream and riparian habitat assessments, fish community assessments, macro-invertebrate collections, physical chemistry measurements, and photo documentation of forty-one randomly selected stream locations surveyed during July through October, 2001.
The second phase of the New England Wadeable Streams (NEWS) project will begin in the summer of 2002, incorporating another 28 randomly selected sites region wide. This phase of the project includes state participation, with four of the six states monitoring their own set of randomly selected stream sites during the 2002 summer season. By the end of 2003, each of the participating New England states will have collected stream data from 50 randomly selected locations within their own state boundaries, to be incorporated with approximately seventy regional sites surveyed by the USEPA over the project period. A full data analysis report of the entire project is anticipated to be produced in late 2003 to mid 2004.
The New England Wadeable Streams project evolved from the realization that many state water quality monitoring programs were justifiably centered around specifically targeted monitoring locations. Although these locations fulfilled the needs at the time, they misrepresented the overall condition of a state’s waters when used for comprehensive state water quality assessments. With this realization, the 1997 USEPA guidelines on national 305(b) reporting to Congress highly recommended that states develop a plan for providing valid comprehensive assessment coverage of its waters. The USEPA has been designated to assist individual States, other jurisdictions, and participating tribes on developing a design and reporting strategy for meeting the goal of comprehensive waterbody assessments. National water quality reports to Congress from 1998 on are to have an added section that describes the states progress in achieving this 305(b) reporting goal. The wadeable streams project is one step in assisting states to meeting that objective.
EPA’s New England Regional Laboratory and Atlantic Ecology Division Office of Research and Development, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, and participating New England State environmental agencies are all collaborative participants in the wadeable streams project. Funding is being provided by EPA’s Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (REMAP). The overall research and project objectives of this effort are to enhance the quality and quantity of assessment information on New England wadeable streams and rivers, develop and/or demonstrate optimal monitoring strategies for meeting 305(b) reporting requirements, encourage participation by the New England States, and develop methods and quality assurance measures that produce the type of data beneficial to state programs while promoting agency participation and involvement.