Nonpoint Source Pollution Roadmap

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

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Pollution Web Page

This Web page briefly discusses several forms of pollution including point and nonpoint source nutrient pollution, and their effects on ecosystems. At the bottom of the page are a series of links to more detailed articles, and additional information on the relationship between growing coastal populations and pollution, and hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.

Perspectives on the Coastal Nonpoint Program

This is an article from NOAA describing the growth of nonpoint source pollution in coastal waters. This article includes an informative, easy-to-read chart that outlines nonpoint source-causing activities along with their resulting threats and impacts.


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

This is the USEPA’s main Web site for information on nonpoint source pollution. The links below provide good starting points for students and educators.

An Introduction to Nonpoint Source Pollution

This page presents a brief explanation of nonpoint source pollution. The major focus of the page is programs that have been established to monitor and control it.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Fact Sheets

This page presents 11 fact sheets which address specific aspects of nonpoint source pollution andsteps being taken by state and federal agencies to manage the problem. Included are many ways that in their own communities.

The Polluted Runoff Kids Page

This section of the USEPA Web site provides interactivity, activities that can be done at home, and links to additional Web sites. These materials are geared to students below the high school level; however, a lot of the information may be useful for students taking a science course for the first time.

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 Web site. 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 Web 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.

Tracking Restoration Efforts in Maryland’s Tributaries

This Web site contains reports which track restoration and nonpoint source implementation measures in Maryland. These tracking reports are used to help the State assess their nonpoint source pollution control efforts. To view statistics on different regions in Maryland, click on the names on the map. Each region will have data on the practices used in trying to restore the area.

Impacts of Developments on Waterways

This is a presentation located on the Planning with POWER project Web site (, an Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant educational program that links land use planning with watershed planning. The presentation focuses on how land development is a major contributor to nonpoint source pollution. It describes how increases in land development negatively impact the water cycle and water quality in general. Other presentations found on the Web site include Strategies for Coping with Runoff, How to Get Started: Protecting Your Community from Polluted Runoff, and Stormwater and Non-Point Source Pollution.


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.

Coastal Monitoring and Assessment Remote Sensing Team 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.

NOAA’s Coastal Services Center (CSC) Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Detection & Forecasting in the Gulf of Mexico.

This page supplies information on the location, extent, and potential for development or movement of harmful algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to a daily conditions report, there are links to HAB bulletins, a case study that briefly explains how remote sensing technology is used to detect and monitor HABs, and interactive tools that provide historical and near real-time data of conditions that may affect the initiation and movement of HABs.

NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health (CEGLHH)

The CEGLHH is a research center that focuses on understanding the relationships between the Great Lakes ecosystem, water quality, and human health. From this Web page users can access specific occurrences of harmful algal bloom (HAB) events in the Great Lakes, read about and view the organisms that cause them, and the effects that these HABs have on human health.

Bigelow Laboratory Phytopia Web Site

This Web site presents a series of special educational materials on: understanding toxic and non-toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs); where they occur in U.S. waters; HABs effects on the food web; how specific toxins affect humans; and the species of phytoplankton that cause HABs. There are also materials on marine phytoplankton in general and the programs that study them via ocean color (remote sensing), with educational activities that guide users through working with on-line oceanographic data.

The Web site also provides information on Phytopia, a free educational CD-ROM developed by The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, in cooperation with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The CD-ROM contains interactive multimedia tools that focus on marine ecosystems with a particular emphasis on marine algae. Through this Web page you can order a copy of the CD-ROM.



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 Web site 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) Web Site

This Web site 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.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) Educational Resources on Water For Secondary Grades (Middle and High School)

This section of the USGS Education Web site contains selected USGS Water resources that may be useful to educators in secondary school grades (Grade 7 to Grade 12). Many of these resources can be used in the classroom, be useful in developing lessons, in demonstration activities preparation, or for teacher education and curriculum development. Among the resources listed are water resources data, water use in the U.S., and information on watersheds.

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. An excellent part of the web site to look at is the section for teachers and students:


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