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Environmental Assessment

Climate Change Effects on Stream and River Biological Indicators: A Preliminary Analysis (External Review Draft)

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Report Information

This draft report is a preliminary assessment that describes how biological indicators are likely to respond to climate change, how well current sampling schemes may detect climate-driven changes, and how likely it is that these sampling schemes will continue to detect impairment.

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Britta G. Bierwagen
  • by phone at:   703-347-8613
  • by fax at:   703-347-8694
  • by email at:  bierwagen.britta@epa.gov

Background

The Clean Water Act mandates that states assess the biological, chemical, and physical condition of their aquatic resources using biological indicators that compare reference and non-reference sites to measure condition. The Office of Water developed guidance documents for establishing biocriteria in rivers and streams, lakes, estuaries, and wetlands, and is developing biocriteria for coral reefs. Climate change is projected to affect aquatic ecosystems through changes in water temperature, hydrological cycles, and degree days. This draft report is a preliminary assessment that describes how biological indicators are likely to respond to climate change, how well current sampling schemes may detect climate-driven changes, and how likely it is that these sampling schemes will continue to detect impairment. The results and recommendations are an initial step towards helping biocriteria programs modify assessment activities to account for climate change effects and ensure that management goals continue to be met.The report is intended for managers and scientists working on biological indicators, bioassessment, and biocriteria.

History/Chronology

Mar 2007Workshop on Climate Change Effects on Biological Indicators in Baltimore, MD from March 27-29, 2007.
May 2007EPA conducted an internal review of the document.
Aug 2007EPA releases an External Review Draft.

Next Steps

Following the public comment period of the draft document, an independant Review Panel (by letter invitation) will meet in Sept. 2007 to review the document. After addressing the public and external review comments, EPA will release a final report. Additional research may be conducted to build on the findings of this report.

Additional Information

Included for public review is the draft Climate Change Effects on Stream and River Biological Indicators: A Preliminary Analysis (External Review Draft). Comments on this document may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov Web site. From the site, select Environmental Protection Agency and the keyword EPA-HQ-ORD-2007-0665 (for the docket ID) to comment on this report.

Citation

U.S. EPA. Climate Change Effects on Stream and River Biological Indicators: A Preliminary Analysis (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-07/085.

Downloads

This download(s) is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.

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