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Water Quality Monitoring Program

The Buffalo National River's water quality monitoring efforts is divided into program and projects. The Water Quality Program was started in 1985, and is a partnership with Arkansas Deparment of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Water quality sites are collected by Buffalo National River staff using ADEQ methods and water chemistry samples are passed to the ADEQ Laboratory through chain-of-custody to ADEQ Water Quality Inspectors. The following links contain data sets and water quality reports:

1985 Water Quality Report

1989 Water Quality Report

1991 Mill Creek Survey

1997 Ten Years of Water Quality Monitoring

2002 Impacts of Septic at Gilbert Arkansas

2004 Water Resources Management Plan

2010 Assessment of Mill Creek Marble Falls Sewage

2010 Mill Creek Status and Trends

2013 Assessment of E. coli on Surface Waters

Water Quality Database: 1985 to 2011

Water Quality Database: 2005 to May 2015
Buffalo National River Water Quality Report 1985 - 2011
Cadmium Accumulation in Periphyton from Rush in the Buffalo National River

To access EPA's STORET water quality database, please click here for instrucitons.


Aquatic Invertebrate Monitoring

Aquatic invertebrates are an important tool for understanding and detecting changes in ecosystem integrity, and they can be used to reflect cumulative impacts that cannot otherwise be detected through traditional water quality monitoring.

Aquatic Invertebrate Monitoring at Buffalo National River, 2005-2013

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BioBlitz: Opportunity for Citizen Science

Looking for an opportunity to become a citizen scientist? Buffalo National River, in conjunction with the Heartland Network and Missouri State University, sponsors BioBlitzes that occur in the park throughout the year. BioBlitzes are an excellent way to help the park acquire crucial science data that is often used in the decision making process.

E. coli


Assessment of Escherichia coli Concentrations in the Surface Waters of Buffalo National River

Buffalo National River has conducted a water quality monitoring program for nearly twenty five years and bacteria monitoring has been a major component of that program. In 2009 the monitoring program added Escherichia coli as a parameter to supplement the fecal coliform sampling already being conducted. Escherichia coli has been found to be a much better indicator of possible human pathogens in surface waters, and quantification and enumeration methods for Escherichia coli are much more efficient and accurate. Cick here for full report.

color photo closeup of Spiny softshell head
Spiny Softshell Turtle


Amphibians and Reptiles

Prior to 2002 only cursory surveys of herpetological species had been performed in isolated areas of Buffalo National River. Those limited surveys, however intriguing, did not provide enough information to allow park managers to make appropriate decisions to insure long term sustainability of herpetofaunal species and abide by the NPS mission statement. The survey report: A Herpetofaunal Inventory of Buffalo National River, conducted between March 2002 and September 2003, is available by clicking on the title.
color photo of Timber Rattlesnake
Timber Rattlesnake


Click for an excel spreadsheet of herptofaunal species and their relative abundance in the park area.

Last updated: April 18, 2017

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Suite 136

Harrison, AR 72601


(870) 439-2502

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