Monitoring & Data
The Fish & Wildlife Service Branch of Air Quality administers an extensive Air Monitoring Program that measures air pollution levels in the wilderness areas. The purpose of the air monitoring program is to establish current air quality conditions and to assess long-term trends of air pollutants that affect refuge resources. The data are also used to determine compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and to assess national and regional air pollution control policies. Measuring air pollution levels in the wildernesses is an essential part of the FWS air resource management program and provides vital information to Congress, air pollution control agencies, academia, and the public.
The Fish & Wildlife Service Branch of Air Quality participates in partnership with three national programs: atmospheric pollutants in rain are analyzed as part of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP - the "acid rain" program); mercury in rain is analyzed as part of the Mercury Deposition Network Program (MDN); fine particles responsible for visibility impairment are measured as part of the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program.
Provided below are three webcams that monitor visibility at Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, and Brigantine Wilderness (Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge).
The different monitoring and data programs that have sites on or are close to many of the Class I Areas, are representative of how air pollution is affecting the Class I areas. Visit the ARIS page to see the monitoring at each of the Class I Areas, and how the air pollution affects the Class I Area.