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Four Year Assessment (1990-1993)

Paul, J.F., J.H. Gentile, K.J. Scott, S.C. Schimmel, D.E. Campbell, and R.W. Latimer. 1999.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Atlantic Ecology Division, Narragansett, Rhode Island. EPA 620/R-99/004.

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Assessments with the four years (1990-93) of ecological condition data collected by the USEPA Environmental Monitoring and Assessment program (EMAP) in estuaries of the Virginian Biogeographic Province (Cape Henry to Cape Cod) were presented. EMAP data were used to quantify, with confidence, the condition of ecological resources within the broad-expanse of estuarine waters comprising the Virginian Province, as well as its large and small estuarine systems and five major tidal rivers. Over the four-year period, sufficient sampling sites were available to characterize the condition of ecological resources for four major watershed systems within the province (Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Hudson-Raritan system, and Long Island Sound), and three tidal rivers in Chesapeake Bay (Potomac, Rappahannock, and James Rivers). Results clearly showed that the EMAP objectives were not only reasonable but were achievable with available indicators collected with a probability-based sampling design. It was shown that the EMAP design can be used to quantify with confidence the condition of ecological resources. Reducing the uncertainties in the assessment should be approached through a systematic program of directed research.

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