ACADIA NATIONAL PARK:
ASSESSMENT OF LONG-TERM AIR QUALITY
PROGRAMMATIC, MONITORING AND RESEARCH NEEDS
Natural Resources Report NPS/NER/NRR2004/002
Tonnie Maniero1 and Bob Breen2
1National Park Service
15 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02109
2Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Park (NP), as a Class I air quality area, is afforded special air quality
protection by the 1977 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act. Since
1979, the park has conducted a comprehensive program that includes 1)
ambient air quality monitoring and research; 2) research and monitoring
of the effects of air pollutants on visibility, surface water chemistry,
soils, sediments and aquatic and terrestrial biota; and 3) public outreach
and education regarding air quality. Collected data are used to assess
the current and potential effects of air pollution on natural resources
in Acadia NP.
In October 2002, staff of Acadia NP and the National Park Service (NPS)
Northeast Regional Office initiated a process to assess long-term programmatic,
monitoring and research needs relative to park air quality. The process
involved both independent and group evaluations, and included a number
of NPS and non-NPS participants. The resulting report, completed in
fall 2004, is divided into two main sections.
The Background section summarizes the extensive ambient air quality
data sets collected in and near the park through spring 2004 including
wet, dry and fog/cloud (occult) deposition of anions, cations and mercury,
and ambient concentrations of ozone and volatile organic compounds.
This section also contains brief summaries of the air pollution effects-related
research and monitoring that has taken place in and near the park. Researchers
have investigated the effects of 1) atmospheric deposition on park ponds,
streams and estuaries, 2) mercury on ecological processes and park biota,
and 3) ozone and deposition on park vegetation. Results indicate loss
of buffering capacity in park surface waters due to atmospheric deposition
and elevated mercury concentrations in fish, amphibians, and piscivorous
birds and mammals.
The Long-term Needs Assessment section describes the assessment process
in detail, and discusses prioritized long-term air quality programmatic,
monitoring and research needs. The section also includes a list of criteria
that will be used by staff at Acadia NP to evaluate the usefulness of
future project proposals. Continuation of existing ambient and surface
water chemistry monitoring is a high priority programmatic need, and
mercury will be a focal pollutant for future air pollution effects monitoring
and research. NPS staff view the long-term needs assessment as an iterative
process. Because the science of air pollution chemistry and effects
is a rapidly-advancing field, Acadia NP staff intend to revisit the
assessment every five to ten years to add new projects, re-prioritize
projects, and reflect any changes in emphasis or direction of the air
quality program at Acadia NP.
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Tables of Content
Long-term Needs Assessment