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Acadia National Park

Visitor Impact Protocol Development and Mitigation Experiments to Support Carrying Capacity Planning

This project will study visitor carrying capacity and evaluates visitor-related impacts to the park's natural resources. It includes (1) development and application of trail condition assessment and monitoring protocols for 120 miles of designated trails on Mount Desert Island, (2) development of monitoring protocols for a GPS-based inventory of visitor-created trails, (3) development of monitoring protocols for trampling impacts and evaluation of the success of area closures at the summit of Cadillac Mountain, and (4) the experimental application and evaluation of education and site management actions to reduce selected high-priority trail-related visitor impact problems. The project is funded from 2007-2009.

For more information, contact Charlie Jacobi at 207-288-8727.


Estimate the Rate of Nitrogen Removal by Wetlands
of Acadia National Park

This three-year study (2008-2010) will quantify denitrification potential in Acadia's estuarine wetlands. The results will enable Acadia's resource managers to develop scientifically based strategies for limiting nutrient inputs to these critical wetlands.

For more information, contact David Manski at 207-288-8720.


Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area

Restore Natural Biodiversity to Boston Harbor Islands —
Conduct an Intertidal Bioblitz

An intertidal bioblitz (quick biological inventory) will be conducted as part of Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area's ongoing All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, coordinated by the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology. It will engage citizen-scientists, professional taxonomists, and park partners in collecting important information about the most extensive natural areas in the park. The bioblitz will also serve as a public kickoff for the long term rocky intertidal monitoring protocol being developed by Northeastern University 's Marine Science Center. This project is funded for 2007 and 2009.

For more information, contact Bruce Jacobson 617-223-8669.


Sediment Transport and Salt Marsh Development

The Boston Harbor Islands represent one of only three known drumlin island fields in the entire world and the only example in the United States, and thus are highly prized resources of the National Park Service. The park is mandated to preserve and protect the drumlin island system within Boston Harbor, along with associated natural, cultural, and historic resources; to tell the islands' individual stories and enhance public understanding and appreciation of the island system as a whole; and to provide public access to the islands for education, enjoyment, and scientific and scholarly research. The large range in coastal habitats is one of the important and unique characteristics of these islands. This study (2009-2011) will focus on salt marshes on the islands, stressed environments due to both natural and anthropogenic pressures. Balancing protection of these rare resources while increasing public access is one of the greatest challenges and the park's highest priority.

For more information, contact Bruce Jacobson 617-223-8669.


Cape Cod National Seashore

Evaluate the Status of Spawning Horseshoe Crabs,
Limulus polyphemus

As of 2001, all harvest of horseshoe crabs was banned in Cape Cod waters. However, this extremely controversial decision is currently being appealed. This is a precedent-setting case as the classification of the horseshoe crab as wildlife gave it a protected status apart from shellfish and finfish, which are currently harvested in the park. Surveys of spawning horseshoe crabs were conducted from 2000 to 2002 in an effort to collect baseline data on spawning populations within the Seashore. This project (2008-2009) will re-survey the same spawning locations five and six years after the initial harvest ban was implemented in order to evaluate the success of this management decision.

For more information, contact Carrie Phillips at 508-487-3262, ext. 109.


Shoreline Change and Resource Protection

This study (2009-2010) will examine current and past measurements of outer Cape Cod coastal features and identify trends affecting these landforms. Historical coastal profile measurements will be analyzed along with newly acquired data for quantitative comparisons.

For more information, contact Mark Adams at 508-487-3262 x113.


Colonial National Historical Park

Control Phragmites through Aerial and Ground Spraying

Phragmites is an extremely agressive, invasive exotic plant found on shorelines in our area; it does great damage to the integrity of estuarine ecosystems. The park has identified 26 wetland sites that have been invaded by nearly monotypic stands of P. australis. This project, funded for 2009, will treat and control approximately 42 acres of phragmites by aerial, small watercraft and ground herbicide spraying.

For more information, contact Dorothy Geyer at 757-898-2433.


Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Delaware River Highlands Sustainability Project

The purpose of this project is to strengthen the capacity of natural resource organizations in the upper Delaware River Basin to more effectively address increasing development pressures, while sustaining ecological, economic, and cultural values that are critical to environmental quality within the region. A group of planners from the tri-state area (NY, NJ and PA), conservation organizations, and key stakeholders have been convened to address development and growth issues across political boundaries. This 2009 funding will be used to conduct workshops for developing a regional atlas and the tasks associated with selecting the appropriate GIS-based model that will be used by the group help explain to decision and policy makers the impacts of development and environmental needs for sustainability.

For more information, contact Denise Cooke-Bauer at 570-296-6952 x16.


Fire Island National Seashore

Characterize Submarine Groundwater as a Component of
Managing Estuarine Eutrophication

A U.S. Geological Survey-National Park Service marine study (2006-2009) will determine the nature of groundwater/surface-water interactions and associated nutrient fluxes in Great South Bay along the Fire Island shoreline, the Long Island shoreline, and representative transects across the bay.

For more information, contact Patricia Rafferty at 631-687-4767.


Impacts of Beach Scraping and Artificial Dune Creation on the Natural Resources of Fire Island National Seashore

The purpose of beach scraping is to provide storm protection to private homes and community infrastructure, although little research exists that demonstrates the success of this technique. This practice may have a negative impact on natural resources in park lands including (1) loss of the ecological benefits of natural dunes, (2) burial of habitat during the creation of the artificial foredune or destruction of habitat directly from scraping, (3) increase in regional erosion and decrease in natural storm protection by decreasing beach width and elevation, and (4) overall disruption of natural processes of dune evolution. This project (2009-2011) is studying long- and short-term impacts of beach scraping and artificial dune formation by comparing aerial photography prior to beach scraping with photos taken early in the history of beach scraping to see how the system responds to this practice.

For more information, contact Michael Bilecki at 631-687-4760.


Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

Monitor French Creek for Arsenic and Other Toxic Metals

This three-year study (2009-2011) will determine the pathways and processes for migration of arsenic and other toxic metals from the Hopewell Furnace slag piles into the surrounding environment, exposure media, and potential receptors. The objectives are to (1) characterize slag-pile material and soils, (2) characterize ground water, (3) characterize surface water and sediment, (4) characterize aquatic biota, and (5) determine the fate and transport of toxic metals.

For more information, contact Steve Ambrose at 610-582-8773.


Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

Evaluate Vernal Pool Use by Amphibians

In order to assess the overall impact of forestry operations on amphibian populations and demonstrate the success of converting plantations to more suitable habitat, a monitoring program is being developed and implemented. Amphibians breeding in vernal pools and spring seeps will be monitored using the cost-effective double-observer dependent method for counting egg masses. The monitoring will include population assessments for the Jefferson salamander, a Vermont-listed species of concern and one of the primary species of management concern for the park, as well as the spotted salamander and the wood frog. The project is funded for 2008-2009.

For more information, contact Kyle Jones 802-457-3368 x30.


Minute Man National Historical Park

Assess Beaver Management Options
to Restore Cultural Landscapes

This project seeks to assess management options and related costs for controlling flooding associated with beaver activity. The specific objectives of the project are to 1) identify all current and potential beaver conflict sites, 2) evaluate and develop recommendations for each site, including cost estimates, and 3) prioritize conflict site interventions. The results of this project, funded for 2009, will assist park staff in determining the best course of action for managing beaver conflicts and preserving the cultural landscape of the park.

For more information, contact Sheila Colwell at 617-223-8566.


Richmond National Battlefield Park

Conduct Biological Inventories at Newly Acquired Park Sites

The park has recently acquired approximately 600 acres of new park land. This project (2009-2010) will accomplish a suite of baseline inventories using similar protocols to those used during previous park inventories, including birds, reptiles and amphibians, and mammals.

For more information, contact Kristen Gounaris Allen at 804-795-5019.


Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

Real-time Monitoring of Sodium and Chloride Loads
within the Saugus River

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation the with National Park Service, operates a continuous streamflow monitoring station at the Saugus River Iron Works National Historic Site in Saugus, Massachusetts. A probe for monitoring specific conductance is located in a section of the river downstream from the gage pool that is influenced by tidal inflows. This three-year project (2007-2009) will relocate the probe to more accurately monitor specific conductance. A real-time interpretive display of this Saugus River gage site data will be installed at the park Visitor Center and data will be posted at an internet site.

For more information, contact Curtis White at (781) 231-7342.


Shenandoah National Park

Characterize Threatened and Impaired Headwater
Streams and Springs

Among the important water resources at Shenandoah National Park are the "source waters" (headwaters and springs) that are potentially the most sensitive to impairment, yet the least well-understood. This project (2007-2009) expands the water resource inventory and thereby improves the basis for monitoring programs for the lower stream reaches of the park.

For more information, contact Gordon Olson at 540-999-3497.


Develop a Long-Term Monitoring Protocol
for the Endangered Shenandoah Salamander

The goal of the study (2008-2009) is to design a long-term monitoring program to detect future change within the three populations of Plethodon shenandoah identified at the park and explore natural and human-related factors that may be responsible for population change.

For more information, contact John Karish at 814-865-7974.


Eradicate Wavyleaf Basketgrass

Wavyleaf basketgrass (Oplismenus hirtellus ssp. undulatifolius) is a Eurasian grass that, if ignored, may soon become one of the worst invasive plants in eastern forests. In 2008, wavyleaf basketgrass was confirmed for three sites in Virginia, including Shenandoah National Park. A high degree of shade tolerance, an aggressive growth habit and sticky seeds that facilitate long-distance dispersal all suggest that this exotic species could become a serious problem. This 2009 project proposes to treat the 32 infested hectares (80 acres) in Shenandoah National Park. An effort to recruit volunteers, especially from the local area, will be included in order to familiarize as many people as possible with wavyleaf basketgrass.

For more information, contact Jake Hughes at 540-999-3500 x3492.


Control the Highly Invasive Mile-a-minute Vine

This two-year project (2009-2010) will control mile-minute vine on 220 acres. Mile-a-minute vine invasiveness is due to its tremendous seed-bearing fecundity (enjoyed and spread by birds), long seed-bearing season, and its fast vegetative growth causing it to expand its territory and overcome existing native plants, shrubs, and small trees. The project entails retaining a park seasonal staff person and Student Conservaation Association interns to apply pre- and post-emergent herbicides over two growing seasons.

For more information, contact Wendy Cass at 540-999-3432 or Jake Hughes at 540-999-3492.


Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River

Determine Ecological Flow Needs of the Federally
Endangered Dwarf Wedgemussel

The National Park Service is involved in a multi-agency effort to
determine the quantity of water required to maintain the health of aquatic communities in the Upper Delaware River. This project (2008-2009) will determine the biological response of adult federally endangered Dwarf Wedgemussel to changes in flow parameters (velocity, temperature, oxygen) and habitat needs of juvenile life stages. This information is essential to making informed recommendations to the Delaware River Basin Commission on ecological flow needs of the park.

For more information, contact Don Hamilton at 570-729-7842.


Determine Status of State-Endangered Bridle Shiner
in Delaware River and Selected Tributaries

The bridle shiner (Notropis bifrenatus) is a rare fish restricted to mid-Atlantic drainages. Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area may support globally significant populations, refuges, and dispersal corridors for this species. Habitat will be affected by flow management in the Delaware River, so the knowledge obtained through this study will be useful in evaluating newly-revised, and any subsequent, flow management regimes in the river. The project (2008-2009) will seek additional populations, determine status and population characteristics in known sites, identify habitat and temperature conditions suitable for the species, and support recommendations for protection and management of the species.

For more information, contact Don Hamilton at 570-729-7842, Richard Evans at 570-296-6952x26.


Northeast Region

Determine Bat Community Composition of Six Northeast Parks

This project, funded for 2009, seeks to conduct inventories of bat community composition including rare, threatened, and endangered species at six small parks in the Northeast Region: Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Morristown National Historical Park, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Saratoga National Historical Park, and Weir Farm National Historic Site. All of the parks have habitat likely to support at least a portion of the eleven species known to be present in the Northeast, which includes the federally endangered Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis).

Specific objectives of the project are to 1) conduct an inventory of bat community composition that covers potential habitats within each park, 2) determine the presence of any rare, threatened or endangered species, and 3) estimate a measure of occurrence for each species. Methods will include use of visual inspection, ultrasonic bat detectors, mist nets, and harp traps.

For more information, contact Sheila Colwell at 617-223-8566.


Methods of Estimating Deer Abundance:
Testing Model Assumptions and Logistical Feasibility

This project (2007-2009) will test whether the proportion of the deer population sighted during surveys has changed since the sighting probabilities were estimated in 1987, test the assumption that roads can serve as transects using distance sampling methods, and investigate the accuracy, precision, and logistical feasibility of population estimators using deer population reduction data.

For more information, contact Michelle Batcheller at 814-863-9414.