Science for the Outdoors: Cleaner Air and Water

Perhaps you have seen that strange equipment near Lakes of the Clouds Hut. Or, maybe you’ve spied a less conspicuous white object near the forest floor along the trail to Carter Hut.

These are just some of the places where AMC monitors air quality in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We’ve put together an interactive map for you to check out the scope of our ongoing research – locations denote direct measurements of air pollutants (A), water quality sampling sites (W), and plant monitoring sites where we are documenting the life stages and climate change (P). You can explore this Google Map >> or check out the more detailed version by opening this file in Google Earth >>

AMC has been studying the impacts of air pollution in the White Mountains for decades. As outdoor recreationists and conservationists, we take air pollution personally because it impacts our lungs, our views, and our environment. AMC’s air quality research provides important information on air pollution levels, its associated impacts, and progress from important Clean Air Act regulations. Here are a few things we know from AMC’s and partner organizations’ science...

VIEWS ARE CLEARER! On hazy days we can see about 18 miles further.
Thanks to the Clean Air Act Regional Haze Rule and other power plant regulations that are designed to protect special places like the Great Gulf and Presidential Range Dry River Wilderness Areas.
AIR IS HEALTHIER! Ozone levels are now at their lowest in the past 28 years of monitoring in the White Mountains.
Thanks to Clean Air Act National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone and the Ozone Transport regulations. But there is still work to be done! Higher elevations still observe polluted ozone days. Children and people who exercise outdoors or suffer from respiratory diseases are the most susceptible to the impacts of elevated ozone.
MOUNTAIN RAIN IS 4 TIMES LESS ACIDIC than 30 years ago – and water in mountain headwater streams is cleaner.
Thanks to Clean Air Act Acid Rain Program that reduced sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel burning sources.
Explore this Google Map >> or check out a more detailed version by opening this file in Google Earth >>

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