U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1226
This circular is available as a pdf.
This report contains the major findings of a 1999–2001 assessment of water quality in the New England Coastal Basins. It is one of a series of reports by the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program that present major findings in 51 major river basins and aquifer systems across the Nation.
In these reports, water quality is discussed in terms of local, State, and regional issues. Conditions in a particular basin or aquifer system are compared to conditions found elsewhere and to selected national benchmarks, such as those for drinking-water quality and the protection of aquatic organisms.
This report is intended for individuals working with water-resource issues in Federal, State, or local agencies, universities, public interest groups, or in the private sector. The information will be useful in addressing a number of current issues, such as the effects of agricultural and urban land use on water quality, human health, drinking water, source-water protection, hypoxia and excessive growth of algae and plants, pesticide registration, and monitoring and sampling strategies. This report is also for individuals who wish to know more about the quality of streams and ground water in areas near where they live and how that water quality compares to the quality of water in other areas across the Nation.
The water-quality conditions in the New England Coastal Basins summarized in this report are discussed in detail in other reports that can be accessed from http://nh.water.usgs.gov/CurrentProjects/nawqa/nawqaweb.htm. Detailed technical information, data and analyses, collection and analytical methodology, models, graphs, and maps that support the findings presented in this report in addition to reports in this series from other basins can be accessed from the national NAWQA Web site (http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa).
National Water-Quality Assessment Program
What kind of water-quality information does the NAWQA Program provide?
Introduction to this Report
Summary of Major Findings
Stream and River Highlights
Introduction to the New England Coastal Basins
Effects of Population Growth and Urbanization on Water Quality
Urbanization Results in Significant Degradation of Stream Ecosystems
REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Stream Quality Degrades as Urbanization
Four Major Metropolitan Areas
Many Trace Elements and Organic Contaminants were Detected in Streambed Sediments
Cores Reveal 50 Years of Elevated PAHs in Streambed Sediments of the Charles River
Organochlorine Compounds in Fish May Pose a Threat to Fish-Eating Wildlife
NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Concentrations of Lead, PCBs, DDT, and PAHs in Streambed Sediments were the Highest in the Nation
Mercury Contamination is Widespread in Streambed Sediments and Fish Tissue
NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Coastal Ecosystems in the Eastern United States are Highly Susceptible to Mercury Contamination
VOCs were Detected Frequently in Rivers and Ground Water
NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE—VOCs are Detected More Frequently in the New England Coastal Basins than in the Rest of the Nation
Pesticides were Detected Frequently in Streams but Rarely in Ground Water
Nitrogen and Phosphorus Concentrations in Streams are Related to Urbanization
Drinking-Water Standard for Nitrate Rarely Exceeded in Ground Water
Arsenic is Common in New England Ground Water
Radon Exceeded Proposed Standards in Most Ground Water
NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE—Arsenic is Common in Ground Water Throughout the Nation
Study Unit Design
Stream Chemistry and Aquatic Ecology
Appendix—Water-Quality Data from the New England Coastal Basins in a National Context
The companion Web site for NAWQA summary reports:
USGS State Representative
U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Division
361 Commerce Way
Pembroke, NH 03275
Chief, NAWQA Program
U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Discipline
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M.S. 413
Reston, VA 20192
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U.S. Geological Survey,
Box 25286, Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225
For more information about the USGS and its products:
World Wide Web: http://www.usgs.gov/
The text and graphics are presented here in pdf format (print quality). The full report is 21.5MB.
If you have Adobe® Acrobat® or Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® installed on your computer, you may view and print the PDF version of this report. Acrobat Reader, is a free download it from Adobe Systems, Inc. Users with disabilities can view information concerning accessibility at access.adobe.com.
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Last modified: Friday, January 11 2013, 12:41:06 PM