Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Assessment of Acidic Deposition Effects on the Chemistry and Benthos of Streams of the East-Central Adirondack Region (16295)

U.S. Geological Survey (Troy).


The Western Adirondack Stream Survey (WASS), conducted 2003-2005, showed that acidic deposition was causing toxic forms of Al to move from soils to streams, in 66% of the 565 watersheds assessed in the study region. The WASS encompassed only 20% of the Adirondack region, and for the remaining 80% (East-Central Adirondack Region), there is little information about the extent of soil and stream acidification.

Map Error

Project Description

Using methods from the WASS, the project will sample about 200 randomly selected, accessible streams in the eastern and central regions of the park. Stream sampling will occur during summer base flow, fall high flow, and spring snowmelt. For each stream, periphytic diatoms will be collected, and for a subset of 40 streams, macroinvertebrates will be sampled. To assess changes over time, the project will also sample sites that had been sampled several times in the 1980s. Data from this project will allow an estimate of soil-base saturation in the watersheds that are sampled. Approximately 12 high-elevation streams will also be sampled to see if the populations of accessible and inaccessible streams have different features that could affect acidic deposition.


This project will provide greatly improved quantification of the current status of Adirondack streams and soils: information needed to evaluate the potential for recovery and support modeling to enable the development of future emissions reductions policies. These results will also be valuable in designing a cohesive environmental monitoring plan for the Adirondack region that integrates terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Project Results


U.S. Geological Survey (Troy).
PO Box 71362
Philadelphia, PA 19176

Principle Investigator

Gregory Lawrence

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Environmental Monitoring & Research

Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Gregory Lampman


R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 3/19/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 16295

Last Updated: 4/15/2014