Background Links of Interest
- Aquatic Resources Monitoring - This site provides information on monitoring of aquatic resources in the United States, primarily focusing on design and analysis of probability based surveys. Links are also provided to other aquatic resources monitoring information available on the Internet.
- Aquatic Stressors
The health and sustainability of aquatic ecosystems and their ecological components are affected by various types of chemical, biological, and physical stressors. First, one must identify the critical stressors through diagnostic approaches. The three critical stressors studied under the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory's (NHEERL) aquatic stressors research program include nonchemical stressors, such as altered habitats; chemical stressors, such as persistent bioaccumulative toxicants; and the impacts of eutrophication, including nutrients, hypoxia, and harmful algal blooms.
- Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP)
The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) is a research program to develop the tools necessary to monitor and assess the status and trends of national ecological resources. EMAP's goal is to develop the scientific understanding for translating environmental monitoring data from multiple spatial and temporal scales into assessments of current ecological condition and forecasts of future risks to our natural resources.
- National Risk Management Research Laboratory Water Supply and Water Resources Division
The Water Supply and Water Resources Division (WSWRD) conducts research to help prepare the primary and secondary regulations for drinking water and to develop technologies and strategies for controlling waterborne contaminants. The program integrates chemistry, engineering, microbiology, computer modeling and cost analysis to provide effective, reliable and cost-effective techniques.
- STAR Grants Research on Algal Blooms
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasing in frequency, duration, geographic extent, and severity in the coastal and freshwater ecosystems of the U.S. and other countries. Red tides and other harmful algal blooms pose a serious and recurrent threat to marine ecosystems, fisheries, human health, and coastal aesthetics. Our capability to predict and manage HAB incidents is in its infancy. For these reasons, NCER is funding research on harmful algal blooms.
- STAR Grants Research on Dioxin
Dioxin is a toxic industrial pollutant that is ubiquitous and persistent in the environment. It accumulates in the fat tissue of animals and humans and has been linked to adverse human health effects, including cancer and toxicity to reproductive, immunologic, and endocrine systems.
- STAR Grants Research on Drinking Water
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation's public drinking water supply. SDWA authorizes the U.S. EPA to set national health-based standards for drinking water to protect against both naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants that may be found in drinking water.
- STAR Grants Research on Ecological Assessment and Indicators
Ecological indicators are markers of overall ecosystem integrity and sustainability. Research to develop indicators, or suites of indicators, is essential for assessing ecosystem health. Ecological indicators are any expression of the environment that quantitatively estimates the condition of the ecological resource, the magnitude of the stress, the exposure of the biological components to stress, or the amount of change in the condition.
- STAR Grants Research on Fisheries
Many of our Nation=s native fish populations are declining or are at historically low levels because a combination of habitat degradation, inadequate fish passage, overfishing, introductions of nonindigenous species, poor land management practices, or urbanization.
- STAR Grants Research on the Great Lakes
Over time, the Great Lakes have been faced with many environmental threats. These problems range from contaminated fish to invasive species to airborne toxics.
- STAR Grants Research on Mining Impact
Mining operations can have adverse environmental effects on surface water and ground water as well as fish and wildlife. Depending on the type of mining, wastes can include acid mine drainage, waste rock, slurries, spent ore, and mill tailings that can be the sources of suspended solids and heavy metals.
- STAR Grants Research on PCB
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications before production ceased in1977. These chemicals have been shown to cause cancer in animals; they have also been shown to have serious noncancer health effects in animals, including adverse effects on immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems. Because they are highly persistent and bioaccumulate in the environment, PCBs are still of concern.
- STAR Grants Research on Pesticides and Human Health
Exposure to environmental pollutants, including pesticides, has the potential to adversely effect human health. In addition, children may be more vulnerable than adults to the effects of environmental contaminants. NCER and its partners are working to improve the data on human and childhood exposure and susceptibilities to pesticide residues.
- STAR Grants Research on Pesticide Removal and Agricultural Impact
The effects of pesticides and agricultural practices on water quality have been a concern for many years. Beginning in the early 1990s, widespread environmental and public-health concerns resulted in a Federal water-quality initiative to work with farmers to protect the Nation's surface water and ground water from nutrient and pesticide contamination.
- STAR Grants Research on Remediation
Basic and applied remediation research is conducted in both EPA Laboratories and Centers. In addition, through the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), EPA competitively funds extramural research in environmental remediation. The purpose of this research is to protect human health and the environment; to prevent exposure of potential human and ecological receptors to hazardous or deleterious substances that have been released to soil, sediment, surface water, or groundwater.
- STAR Grants Research on Sediments
EPA estimates that about 10 percent of the sediment underlying U.S. surface waters is sufficiently contaminated with toxic pollutants to pose risks to fish and fish consumers. In addition, many dredging operations involve contaminated sediments that create difficult remediation problems.
- Drinking Water
Office of Research & Development's Drinking Water page of related links.
- EPA Water Topics Page
Water is essential for life and plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the Earth's ecosystems. The pollution of water has a serious impact on all living creatures, and can negatively affect the use of water for drinking, household needs, recreation, fishing, transportation and commerce. EPA enforces federal clean water and safe drinking water laws, provides support for municipal wastewater treatment plants, and takes part in pollution prevention efforts aimed at protecting watersheds and sources of drinking water. The Agency carries out both regulatory and voluntary programs to fulfill its mission to protect the nation's waters.