Bug Catching for the State: Gathering Baseline Ecological Information Under Wave
39 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2012 Last revised: 9 Apr 2013
Date Written: December 17, 2012
In the ongoing process of establishing and maintaining water quality, state regulators have been challenged by a general lack of information about the condition of our nation’s waters. This dilemma largely results from inadequate resources to conduct water quality investigations. Presently, state regulators lack water quality information for hundreds of thousands of miles of water resources. One recent trend to correct this informational deficiency converges the reach of citizen monitoring with the efficiency of indicator species analysis, such as in New York’s Wadeable Assessment of Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) pilot program. This article will highlight state and federal efforts to evaluate the biological health of streams though the collection and identification of macroinvertebrate indicators by citizen volunteers. The article identifies the basic regulatory principles at stake and the numerous quality assurances set in place by different programs to ensure reliable data.
Keywords: environmental law, natural resources law, ecology, citizen monitoring, indicator species, administrative law, water quality, ecosystem management
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