A Look Below the Surface: Water Quality of the National Park Service's Wild and Scenic Rivers

Curious about the status of NPS wild and scenic river water quality? Take A Look Below the Surface.

Wild and Scenic Rivers are federally protected free-flowing rivers that exhibit outstanding recreational, natural, cultural, or other similar values. Once a river is designated as a Wild and Scenic River, river managing agencies like the National Park Service (NPS) are directed to protect and enhance three core principles of that river.

The three principles of a Wild and Scenic River under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act are:
  1. the river’s free-flowing condition,
  2. the outstandingly remarkable values that make the river nationally or regionally significant, and
  3. the river’s water quality.
Since water quality protection is a fundamental principle of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, there was a recent effort to assess the water quality status of the entire NPS Wild and Scenic River System - and the results are in!

Read the full report produced by the Interagency Wild and Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council.

Last updated: April 30, 2021