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Water: Outreach & Communication

Problem Identification



  • Endangered Species
    • Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants Exit EPA Disclaimer  - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has created this web page to keep the public informed of the endangered species list and any applicable current events. The site contains the current list of endangered species searchable by state.


  • Monitoring
    • Index of Watershed Indicators - This web site enables citizens to view the health of their watersheds using 17 indicators and includes county-specific rankings for each of the indicators and a helpful map library.
    • Monitoring Water Quality - This site provides information on methods and tools to monitor, assess, and report on the health of a waterbody.
    • National Directory of Volunteer Monitoring Programs - This directory lists volunteer organizations around the country engaged in monitoring rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, wetlands, and ground water, as well as surrounding lands.
    • Section 319 Nonpoint Source National Monitoring Program Successes and Recommendations November 2000 (preprint) [BROKEN]  Exit EPA Disclaimer  - This report shares some of the successes and lessons learned from the National Monitoring Program. Based on these lessons, recommendations are made to help enhance future watershed projects and state nonpoint source water quality programs.
    • Technical Monitoring Guidance - EPA developed this site to list helpful guidance materials.
    • Volunteer Estuary Monitoring: A Methods Manual - This guide describes the role of volunteer monitoring in state programs and details how managers can best organize and administer these monitoring programs. The manual focuses on the concepts and plans developed by the EPA guide and places them in a nuts-and-bolts context specifically for volunteer estuary monitoring programs.
    • Volunteer Lake Monitoring: A Methods Manual (PDF) (65 pages, 868KB) - The purpose of this manual is to present methods for monitoring important lake conditions using citizen volunteers. This information will be helpful to agencies, institutions, and private citizens wishing to start new volunteer monitoring efforts, as well as those who may want to improve an existing program. The citizen volunteer who uses these techniques will be able to collect reliable data that can be used with confidence for a variety of resource management purposes.
    • Volunteer Stream Monitoring: A Methods Manual - This manual is intended to serve as a tool for program managers who want to launch a new stream monitoring program or enhance an existing program. Volunteer Stream Monitoring presents methods that have been adapted from those used successfully by existing volunteer programs.
    • The Volunteer Monitor's Guide to Quality Assurance Project Plans - The quality assurance project plan, or QAPP, is a document that outlines the procedures that those who conduct a monitoring project will follow to ensure that the data they collect and analyze meet project requirements. It is an invaluable planning and operating tool that outlines the project's methods of data collection, storage, and analysis. It serves not only to convince skeptical data users about the quality of the project's findings but also to record methods, goals, and project implementation steps for current and future volunteers and for those who may wish to use the project's data over time.
    • Water Quality Monitoring Training Program [BROKEN] Exit EPA Disclaimer  - The Natural Resources Conservation Service offers a free, self-paced course to the public. This site provides information on registration and testing.


  • Monitoring Databases and Tools
    • Complex Effluent Toxicity Information System for Personal Computers (PC-CETIS) Exit EPA Disclaimer  - The Complex Effluent Toxicity Information System (CETIS) is a set of computerized functions that provide standardized entry, maintenance, storage, and retrieval of toxicity test data.
    • ECOTOX - The ECOTOXicology database is a source for single-chemical toxicity data for aquatic life, terrestrial plants, and wildlife.
    • Envirofacts Warehouse - This web site provides access to several EPA databases that contain information about environmental activities that may affect air, water, and land anywhere in the United States.
    • National Water Information Systems Exit EPA Disclaimer  - Check out this site for water resources data for approximately 1.5 million sites across the nation.
    • National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program Exit EPA Disclaimer  - The U.S. Geological Survey monitors 59 "study units" in rivers and streams around the nation. This site provides USGS's findings on many pollutants, including pesticides, nutrients, and volatile organic compounds.
    • The Quality of Our Nation's Water, 305(b) Water Quality Report - This site, developed by EPA's Office of Wate, includes the National Water Quality Inventory Reports to Congress. Reports from 1994, 1996, and 1998; fact sheets; and the report brochure can also be viewed on this site.
    • Reach Files - EPA's Reach Files are a series of national hydrologic databases that uniquely identify and interconnect the stream segments or "reaches" that compose the country's surface water drainage system.
    • STORET - STORET (short for STOrage and RETrieval) is a repository for water quality, biological, and physical data and is used by state environmental agencies, EPA, and other federal agencies, universities, private citizens, and many others.
    • Water Use Data Exit EPA Disclaimer  - The U.S. Geological Survey has put this site together to offer real-time water data, a suspended sediment database, maps, and GIS data for water resources.
  • Other Databases
    • National Drinking Water Contaminant Occurrence Database - This database contains information on contaminant occurrences from public and other water sources. This database can be queried in a number of ways.
    • National Inventory of Dams Exit EPA Disclaimer  - The purpose of this site is to update the dam inventory data with information from the states and federal agencies.
    • National Oceanic Data Center (NODC) Exit EPA Disclaimer  - NODC's primary mission is to ensure that global oceanographic data (physical, chemical, and biological) collected at great cost is maintained in a permanent archive that is easily accessible to the world scientific community and to other users.
    • National Resources Inventory (NRI) Exit EPA Disclaimer  - The Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, created this program to gather information on 800,000 sample points on nonfederal land around the nation. This site contains maps and tables summarizing a variety of findings, including water quality, wetlands, land capability, and conservation needs.
    • National Wetlands Inventory Center Exit EPA Disclaimer  - The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service produces information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the nation's wetlands and deepwater habitats. This database is used by federal, state, and local agencies; academic institutions; the U.S. Congress; and the private sector.

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