National Wildlife Refuge System

Scenic Views of Simeonof NWR Scenic Views of Simeonof NWR Scenic Views of Simeonof NWR Scenic Views of Simeonof NWR

Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)- Simeonof Wilderness

Air Quality

What’s in the Air?

Most visitors expect clean air and good visibility in wildlife refuges. However, Simeonof Wilderness is affected by regional oil and gas development and long-range transport of air pollutants from other sources. Air pollutants can harm natural and scenic resources in the refuge such as surface waters, plants, soils, fish, birds, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Simeonof Wilderness?

  • Elevated levels of nitrogen and sulfur in air form acid rain and acid fog, which can be deposited into refuge ecosystems, can cause changes to lakes, ponds, and streams.
  • Mercury, a toxic air contaminant, deposits onto refuge waters and lands and poses a threat to birds, salamanders, fish, other wildlife, and humans as well.
  • Fine particles of air pollution cause haze in the refuge, affecting how well and how far visitors can see vistas and landmarks.
  • Other information on how air pollution affects Simeonof National Wildlife Refuge. more>>

What is the Fish & Wildlife Service doing about air pollution at the Wildlife Refuge?

  • Monitoring fine particles and haze to assess status and trends. more>>
  • Evaluating the impacts of air pollution on wildlife refuges.
  • Working with federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and public interest groups to develop strategies to reduce air pollution and protect and restore refuge resources. The FWS also reviews plans for development that have a potential to increase air pollution in national wildlife refuges.
Last updated: November 13, 2012