This book, which has been prepared by an international group of experts, provides comprehensive guidance for the design, planning and implementation of assessments and monitoring programmes for water bodies used for recreation. It addresses the wide range of hazards which may be encountered and emphasizes the importance of linking monitoring programmes to effective and feasible management actions to protect human health. It also provides details of sampling and analytical methods.
The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program was created by EPA to develop the capability for tracking the changing conditions of our natural resources and to give environmental policy the advantages ofa sound scientific understanding of trends. Former EPA Administrators recognized early that contemporary monitoring programs could not even quantify simple unknowns like the number of lakes suffering from acid rain, let along determine if national control policies were benefiting these lakes. Today, adding to acidification impacts are truly complex problems such as determining the effects of climate change, of increases in ultraviolet light, toxic chemicals, eutrophication and critical habitat loss. Also today, the Government Performance and Results Act seeks to have agencies develop performance standards based on results rather than simply on levels of programmatic activities. The charge to EMAP of ecosystems is, therefore, the same today as it was a with respect to measuring the condition decade ago. We welcome the increasing urgency for sound scientific monitoring methods and data by efforts to protect and improve the environment. Systematic nationwide monitoring of natural resources is more than anyone program can accomplish, however. In an era of declining budgets, it is crucial that monitoring programs at all levels of government coordinate and share environmental data. EMAP resources are dwarfed by the more than $500 million spent on federal monitoring activities each year.
Monitoring Ecological Impacts provides the tools needed by professional ecologists, scientists, engineers, planners and managers to design assessment programs that can reliably monitor, detect and allow management of human impacts on the natural environment. The procedures described are well grounded in inferential logic, and the statistical models needed to analyse complex data are given. Step-by-step guidelines and flow diagrams provide the reader with clear and useable protocols, which can be applied in any region of the world and to a wide range of human impacts. In addition, real examples are used to show how the theory can be put into practice. Although the context of this book is flowing water environments, especially rivers and streams, the advice for designing assessment programs can be applied to any ecosystem.
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