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EMAP: Myths, Hobgoblins and Crusades

Steve Paulsen and Kevin Summers

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Office of Research and Development,
National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory
Corvallis, Oregon and Gulf Breeze, Florida

The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) began as unfunded, unproven, but not unnecessary idea in the late 1980s. As a ORD research program in 2004, it is still going strong with multiple sub-programs like the Regional Pilots, REMAP, and the National Coastal Assessment. Like any program that manages to survive for fifteen years, EMAP has spun its share of myths, attempted to dispel others, created and fought off its share of hobgoblins, and generated crusades from within its borders and from its outside competitors. Today, we will address many of these encounters in describing the conceptual development, research piloting, eventual implementation, and continuing efforts within EMAP.

From the program's initial discussions on Thursday nights over pizza, through the regional pilots, indicator and design research, to the development of national monitoring initiatives, we will chronicle the history of this program through anecdotes, survey results, and impressions. We will share some of the programmatic developmental axioms that constructing and implementing a program like EMAP has taught us - sustainability laws like "If you aren't tossed out of innumerable offices in the beginning, you probably don't have it right for the long-term!". Our belief is that there are lessons to be learned from the sometimes bumpy history of EMAP that will aid our thinking and help us build lasting partnerships that can address many of the water quality and ecological condition questions facing the Nation today.

Keywords: EMAP, Regional Pilots, Ecological Condition, Monitoring, Probability Surveys


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