LONG ISLAND-NEW JERSEY NAWQA
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Long Island-New Jersey (LINJ) Coastal Drainages Study
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Scope of the Long Island-New Jersey Coastal Drainages Study-Unit Investigation
Fact Sheet FS-030-94, by Mark A. Ayers
In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a
National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program to document the status
of and trends in quality of a large representative part of the Nation's
water resources and to provide a sound scientific understanding of the
primary natural and human factors that affect the quality of these
program is designed to produce long-term, consistent water-quality
information that will be useful to policymakers and managers at national,
State, and local levels.
Investigations of 60 hydrologic systems (study
units), which include parts of most major river basins and aquifer systems
in the United States, are the building blocks of NAWQA. A framework has
been established to ensure nationwide consistency in the approach to each
study--in field and laboratory methods, in water-quality measurements,
and in the supporting data requirements. Twenty studies were started in
1991, 20 more have begun in 1994, and 20 are scheduled to begin in
A major design feature of the program that will facilitate
integration of water-quality information at national, regional, and local
scales is coordination between the individual study-unit teams and the
national synthesis effort at all stages of the inve stigations. Thus,
results that relate to various topics addressed in the study-unit
investigations will be integrated smoothly into NAWQA's national synthesis
component. Teams have been developed to address the following topics of
national importance: pesticides, nutrients, and volatile organic
compounds. These teams are investigating the specific issues by means of
comparative studies of a large set of hydrologic systems distributed over
a wide range of environmental settings found in the 60 study-units.
The information below summarizes the goals and scope of the NAWQA Program
and the Long Island-New Jersey Coastal Drainages study, which began in
- Protection and enhancement of water quality is a high priority
for the Nation.
- Many clean-water programs do not have data collection or data are
not accessible to measure the status or effectiveness of program
- Long-term, nationwide, multiscale, interagency, interdisciplinary
studies are rare; more such studies are needed to provide information to
make sound environmental policy decisions.
- Additional documentation of nonpoint-source effects on water quality
- NAWQA can help reduce uncertainty in water-resources planning,
regulation, and management by providing reliable and comparable data at
- Describe the quality of the Nation's surface- and groundwater
- Detect trends in water quality.
- Identify the primary natural and human factors that affect the
quality of these water resources.
- Consists of 60 studies--20 each beginning in 1991, 1994, and
1997--and topically focused national synthesis teams.
- Specifies a rotational, 9-year cycle for each study--3 years of
intensive sampling and 6 years of low-level activity.Incorporates about 45 percent of the area of coterminous United
States and from 60 to 70 percent of the Nation's water use and population
served by public water supply in the 60 study units.
- Includes plans for a nationally consistent, multimedia, computerized
data base on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of
stream and aquifer systems.
- Provides geographical information system support for developing a
national ancillary data base to ensure consistency of interpretations.
- Employs multiscale study approaches based on analyses of samples of
water, suspended and bed sediment, biologic tissues, and aquatic
- Includes all of Long Island and the New Jersey coastal
drainages; excludes the Delaware River Basin (a study scheduled to begin
- Plans for 1994-95 are to compile and analyze available data and to
design the study approaches.
- Plans for 1996-98 are to conduct intensive sampling for a wide array
of physical, chemical, and biological characteristics.
- Plans for 1999-2002 are to complete interpretations of and reports
on the intensive sampling data and to begin low-level sampling.
- Study-unit survey-- to identify water-quality problems
in study-unit aquifers to the extent possible with the analysis of
- Land-use surveys-- to document the effects of land use on
shallow water quality in two or three aquifer systems (50-100 wells) not
currently well documented.
- Flowpath studies-- to determine the transport and fate of
selected constituents in two or three aquifer systems (50-100 wells of
- Water sampling-- to collect samples for analysis for
nutrients, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds in water; at some
sites, use isotopes and other measures to determine the age and source of
- Basic monitoring studies--to determine loads and
seasonal patterns of nutrients and suspended sediment at sites indicative
of selected land uses and at sites that integrate various land uses (8-10
sites, sampled monthly and during high flows) .
- Intensive monitoring studies--to determine seasonal patterns
of pesticides at a subset of the above sites (3-4 sites, sampled weekly to
monthly and during high flows).
- Synoptic surveys--to determine spatial relations of selected
constituents from 20 to 40 sites at a point in time under selected
- Stream-reach studies
--to determine source, fate, and
transport of constituents in selected stream reaches through field
sampling and computer simulation of physical, chemical, or biological
- Water sampling
--to collect samples for analysis of nutrients,
suspended sediment, and pesticides.
- Suspended- and bed-sediment sampling
--to collect samples for
analysis for trace elements, pesticides, and other synthetic organic
- Biological sampling
--to collect biological tissue samples for
analysis for trace elements, pesticides, and other synthetic organic
compounds; to collect samples of algae, benthic invertebrates, and fish
communities; and to describe the associated stream-reach habitats.
- Includes affiliates of Federal, State, local, university,
private, and citizen groups or organizations.
- Helps coordinate data and work tasks, reviews plans and results, and
guides study toward policy-relevant efforts.
- Meets about twice a year for a day.
New Jersey Farm Bureau New Jersey Pinelands CommissionNew Jersey State Soil Conservation CommitteeNew Jersey Water Resources Research InstituteNew York City Department of Environmental ProtectionNew York Department of Environmental ConservationNew York Farm Bureau New York State AssemblyOcean County Health DepartmentPassaic River CoalitionRutgers, the State University:
- American Littoral SocietyBrookhaven National LaboratoryHackensack Meadowlands Development CommissionHunterdon County Planning BoardLeague of Women VotersLong Island:
- Groundwater Research InstituteRegional Planning BoardWater Council
- Manhattan CollegeNassau County:
- Department of Public Works
- New Jersey Department of Agriculture:
- Division of Rural Resources
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy:Office of Land and Water PlanningDivision of Parks and ForestryDivision of Science and Research
- Bureau of Freshwater FisheriesBureau of Water Quality and Analysis
- Bureau of Environmental ExposureWater Monitoring ManagementGeological Survey
- Agricultural Extension ServiceDepartment of Environmental Science
State University of New York Center for Regional Policy StudiesThe Nature ConservancyTown of Brookhaven, New YorkU.S. Department of Agriculture:
- Department of HealthOffice of the County Executive
U.S. Department of Interior:
- Forest ServiceSoil Conservation Service
National Park Service
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
- Fish and Wildlife ServiceGeological Survey
Monitoring Management BranchOffice of GroundwaterSurface Water Quality Branch
Upper Raritan Watershed Association
- Environmental Services DivisionMarine and Wetlands Protection Branch