EPA released the Wadeable Streams Assessment (WSA), which is the first consistent evaluation of the streams that feed rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Alaska and Hawaii were not included in the report but have pilot projects underway. ?Wadeable streams? are those which are shallow enough to be adequately sampled without a boat. They are an important natural resource that has been under-sampled in the past.
Conducted between 2000 and 2004, the study was based on sampling at 1,392 sites selected to represent the condition of all streams that share similar ecological characteristics in various regions. The survey found that stream conditions vary widely across the diverse ecological regions of the country, and that, in general, streams in the West were in the best condition.
The WSA is part of a series of surveys to evaluate all of the nation’s waters. Coastal condition has already been evaluated. During the next five years, EPA will sample the condition of lakes, large rivers, and wetlands. Then the process will be repeated to provide ongoing comparisons of the state of the waters and point to possible future action.
More information: Wadeable Streams Assessment: http://www.epa.gov/owow/streamsurvey
Source: EPA’s Waterheadlines for May 8, 2006 Benjamin H. Grumbles, Assistant Administrator,Office of Water
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