The park's many acres of streams, ponds, and wetlands rely on water sources that originate well outside park boundaries. Therefore, water quality in these systems is often affected by land use and management at their headwaters. Likewise, as part of the larger James River watershed, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the management of Richmond National Battlefield Park's many riparian habitats influences water quality all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Because the health of the park's aquatic communities depends heavily on water quality, conditions are monitored throughout it's many units. This provides the park with a "red flag" when degraded conditions require a change in management either in the park or upstream. In addition, the park has incorporated many techniques to preserve water quality including the use of buffer zones near wetlands and waterways as well as the careful assessment of activity that could potentially impact park aquatic resources.