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WADEABLE STREAMS ASSESSMENT
WADEABLE STREAMS ASSESSMENT. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
This Wadeable Streams Assessment (WSA) provides the first statistically defensible summary of the condition of the nation’s streams and small rivers, which are so integrally tied to our history. This report brings the results of this ground-breaking study to the American public.This assessment encompasses the wadeable streams and rivers that account for a vast majority of the length of flowing waters in the United States. To perform this assessment, EPA, the states, and tribes collected chemical, physical, and biological data at more 1,392 wadeable perennial stream locations to determine the biological condition of these waters and the most important factors affecting their water quality. Teams collected samples at sites chosen using an innovative statistical design to ensure representative results. The results of this analysis provide a clear assessment of the biological quality of wadeable, perennial streams and rivers across the country, within each of three major climatic and landform regions, and nine ecological regions.
Information provided in this report fills an important gap in meeting the requirements of the CWA. The purpose of this assessment is fourfold: 1. Report on the ecological condition of all wadeable, perennial streams and rivers within the conterminous United States. (Pilot projects are underway in Alaska and Hawaii.) 2. Describe the biological condition of these systems using direct measures of aquatic life. Assessments of stream quality have historically relied primarily on chemical analyses of water, or sometimes on the status of game fish. 3.Identify and rank the relative importance of chemical and physical stressors (disturbances) affecting stream and river condition. 4.Enhance state and tribal capacity to include these design and measurement tools in their water quality monitoring programs so that future assessments will be ecologically and statistically comparable, both regionally and nationally.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF WATER
OFFICE OF WETLANDS, OCEANS, AND WATERSHEDS
ASSESSMENT AND WATERSHED PROTECTION DIVISION