National Wildlife Refuge System

Scenic view of Chassahowitzka Scenic view of Chassahowitzka Scenic view of Chassahowitzka Scenic Views of Chassahowitzka

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge

Air Quality

What's in the Air?

Most visitors expect clean air and good visibility in wildlife refuges. However, the Chassahowitzka NWR is affected by regional industrial sources and biomass burning. These sources create air pollutants that can harm the refuge's natural and scenic resources, such as surface waters, plants, soils, fish, birds, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Chassahowitzka NWR?

  • Elevated levels of nitrogen and sulfur in the 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 about how air pollution affects Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. more>>

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

  • Monitoring nitrogen and sulfur deposition, mercury, 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 reviews plans for development that have a potential to increase air pollution in national wildlife refuges.
Last updated: November 13, 2012