Our nation's national parks are proud to be home to some of the cleanest watersheds in the United States. The National Park Service (NPS) aims to preserve these pristine systems through monitoring programs. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (NHP) along with other parks in the Southeast Alaska region has many streams and rivers flowing into the Gulf of Alaska. Recent preliminary studies coordinated by the Southeast Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network (SEAN) indicate that these waterways contain low contaminant levels. In an effort to track changes in contaminant levels as well as to monitor overall water quality SEAN has designed several monitoring studies. The long-term monitoring efforts include, Freshwater Contaminants, Marine Contaminants, and Freshwater Quality.
Freshwater quality measurements are collected continuosly at Klondike Gold Rush NHP, Sitka NHP, and Glacier Bay NP & P. Temperature, pH, salinity, and dissolved oxygen are all monitored and used to track patterns over time. In 2012 SEAN took more than 14,000 hourly measurements.
Did You Know?
The mystery of why these canvas boats were left behind at the Chilkoot summit of Klondike Gold Rush NHP, remains unsolved. One theory reports that it was too costly to pay the customs to take them over the border. Perhaps they were too flimsy for the rough waters of Bennett Lake?