New USGS Tools to Assess Nutrient Inputs to US Estuaries and Great Lakes

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program has announced the availability of new web pages with national maps and data tables, as well as a new SPARROW model reporting feature.  These new tools improve access to water-quality modeling information that can be used in the development of nutrient reduction strategies and inform nutrient policies across the nation.  

  • The new USGS web pages with maps and data tables describe nutrient loading to major estuaries throughout the conterminous US and include descriptions of major sources and contributing areas of nutrients to 115 estuaries along the Atlantic Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest coast, as well as from 160 watersheds draining into the Great Lakes.
  • The online interactive SPARROW model (SPAtially Referenced Regressions on Watershed attributes) Decision-Support System (DSS) has a new reporting feature within the DSS that provides summary information on the amounts and sources of nutrients from upstream states or major hydrologic regions.  Water resource managers interested in a particular stream, reservoir, or estuary can use this feature to estimate how reductions in nutrient sources affect downstream nutrient loads at a stream outlet. For example, output from the new reporting feature shows the amount of nitrogen contributed from each of the 31 states that drain into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River Basin.

Visit the NAWQA program web site for more information on USGS nutrient monitoring and modeling activities.

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