Air pollutants do not recognize park, state, or other man-made borders. To protect park resources and predict effects of air pollutants on natural resources in the National Capital Region, the Air Resources Program at the Center for Urban Ecology coordinates with national-scale air quality monitoring programs both within and outside the National Park Service.

These include:

  • Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE)
  • Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET)
  • National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP)

Ecological effects of air pollutants:

Air pollutants do not just make the air murky and unhealthy to breathe, they also can harm ecosystems by acidifying and eutrophying both soils and water bodies (via nitrogen and sulfur deposition), by damaging and retarding growth in plants (via ozone deposition), and even by poisoning fish and the organisms that feed on them (via mercury deposition). Federal Land Managers, including the Park Service, quantify these effects using a suite of measurable Air Quality Related Values (AQRVs). The air resource, water, vegetation, wildlife managers at CUE work together as an interdisciplinary team to develop these quantitative measures for Parks in the National Capital Region, and to use the for monitoring long term trends.

Other Federal Land Managers in Air Resources:





Doug Curtis
Air & Water Resources Coordinator
National Park Service
Center for Urban Ecology
4598 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington, DC 20007

(202) 339-8328