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Pollution Tutorial

The following resources have been compiled to provide you with additional information and specific data related to the Nonpoint Source Discovery Kit Tutorial. The resources have been grouped into four major categories. Click on the link below to go to the beginning of that category.

Nonpoint Source Pollution | Harmful Algal Blooms | Hypoxia | Pollution & Water Quality Data & Information

Nonpoint Source Pollution

U.S. Environmental Protective Agency (EPA) Nonpoint Source Pollution website

This is the USEPA’s main website for information on nonpoint source pollution.

Parking-Lot Sealcoat: A Major Source of PAHs in Urban and Suburban Environments

This series of web pages is part of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program website. They discuss a toxic and carcinogenic form of pollution (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) that results from runoff washing off of a substance called “sealcoat” that is often used to cover large parking lots in major urban areas. The pages discuss the problem, how USGS scientists are studying the issue, and what is being done to try and address it. From these Web pages you can access the NAWQA home page and get more information on water quality programs across the United States.

Nutrients in Streams and Rivers in the Lower Tennessee River Basin

This page from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) discusses the different ways nutrients and pollution enter the lower Tennessee River Basin from point and nonpoint sources.

Nonpoint Source Management Program

This is the home page for the Nonpoint Source Management Program in Maryland. Through this home page you can access general information on nonpoint source pollution as well as prevention strategies and success stories. The page also describes coastal programs that have been implemented in Maryland.

Harmful Algal Blooms

National Ocean Service Essay on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

This essay provides an excellent and brief overview of harmful algal blooms, their effects on the environment, and the programs that NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) conducts to determine what causes HABs, and how they can be predicted and prevented. There are also many links to NOS programs dealing with HAB detection and monitoring.

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Page

Using images from satellites to determine changes in physical, biological, and/or chemical aspects of the Earth’s environments is called remote sensing. Scientists in NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Remote Sensing Team use remote sensing to detect and monitor the ecological consequences of nonpoint source pollution, among them, harmful algal blooms (HABs). From this Web page you can access information, data and imagery of HABs and NOAA HAB programs in the Florida and Texas regions of the Gulf of Mexico and in Washington State.


Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Watch

The Gulf of Mexico hypoxia watch is a cooperative project among NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, National Coastal Data Development Center, and CoastWatch Programs. This program develops near-real time maps of dissolved oxygen levels near the ocean floor that form the basis for advisories on anoxic and hypoxic conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.

Through this website you can download an excellent document that explains in great detail the causes and effects of hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico (PDF, 14 pages, 1.7 Mb), and access an interactive map that shows levels of dissolved oxygen at a range of depths during the summers of 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Please note, the data from 2005 are to be considered preliminary at this time.

Pollution & Water Quality Data & Information

Mussel Watch Program Web Page

NOAA’s Mussel Watch Program monitors chemical contaminants in oysters, mussels, and sediments. Mussel Watch sites are representative of large coastal areas and avoid small-scale patches of contamination, or "hot spots." For this reason, its data can be used to compare contaminant concentrations across space and time to determine which coastal regions are at greatest risk.

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s (NERRS) Centralized Data Management Office (CDMO) website

This website provides an overview of the NERRS System-wide Monitoring Program (SWaMP) at 25 NERRS sites across the country, as well as the meteorological and water quality data collected through SWaMP from 1995 to 2003.

NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) Essay and Links on Coastal Monitoring and Observations

This essay discusses three major classes of coastal observations and monitoring that NOS conducts in U.S. territorial waters. The first class measures environmental features across large geographic areas, including harmful algal blooms (HABs). The second class characterizes chemical, physical, meteorological, or biological properties through repeated measurements and across a region. The third class involves intensive and frequent measurements at only a few locations. This third class of monitoring allows scientists to identify, measure, and potentially link environmental changes detected by the other two types of monitoring with the causes of these changes.

Chesapeake Bay Program

The Chesapeake Bay Program home page provides links to a wide range of educational resources. From this page you can access information about Chesapeake Bay’s animals and plants, water quality, nonpoint source pollution effects on the Bay, and the efforts being made to restore the Bay.

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