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George Washington Memorial Parkway Permanent Link

December 2006

George Washington Memorial Parkway was established to protect the scenic views along the Potomac River and its tributaries in the Washington, DC area. The park's 7,210 acres provide habitat for dozens of state-listed species of rare, threatened, or endangered plants and animals, many of which are associated with rare plant communities of the Potomac River Gorge. The Parkway is the most visited of the National Capital Region parks and the sixth most-visited unit in the National Park System, with over seven million recreational visits in 2004. This high human visitation results in management challenges. Development along and within the park's boundaries and the related introduction of invasive species threaten park resources.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park Permanent Link

December 2006

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park is the largest and longest park in the National Capital Region, stretching along the Potomac River for 184.5 miles from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD. The park's 19,236 acres cut through four major physiographic provinces and include diverse wetlands, floodplain, and upland forests. Hundreds of historic structures are preserved as reminders of the Canal's role as a major transportation system during the Canal Era. Today, the Canal and tow path support a large variety of recreational opportunities, but also permit the rapid spread of exotic and weedy species.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Permanent Link

December 2006

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park protects the historic town area and surrounding natural resources lands at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers in West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. Preserved structures and landscapes in the park tell of the historic role of the town and lands in the Civil War, African American history, manufacturing, and transportation and other historic events. The natural heritage of the park is equally rich, and over 70% of the park's 3,645 acres is covered with eastern deciduous forest. Changes in adjacent land use that may affect park resources (e.g., water quality, invasive species, deer population) are of primary concern to park management. Because of its unique location, flooding is also a major concern.

Manassas National Battlefield Park Permanent Link

December 2006

Manassas National Battlefield Park was established to preserve the scene of two major Civil War battles. Much of the landscape retains its wartime character with a patchwork of open fields and woodlots scattered across gently rolling hills. The 5,073 acre park is located within the northern VA Piedmont, approximately 45 miles southwest of Washington, DC. Many surrounding lands are becoming residential and industrial developments. Major transportation corridors, including a busy road passing through and another running adjacent, impact the park resources. In addition, the overpopulation of white-tailed deer, the spread of exotic invasive species, and increased runoff are important natural issues for Manassas National Battlefield Park.

Monocacy National Battlefield Park Permanent Link

December 2006

Monocacy National Battlefield is managed as a cultural resource commemorating the Civil War battle that took place along the Monocacy River south of Frederick, MD. The 1,647 acre park is dominated by active farms with some mixed hardwood forests and field/edge habitat. Like other battlefield parks, it has the challenge of combining the preservation of a historic landscape with natural resource management. Potential threats to the park's natural resources include the release of pollutants from agriculture, industrial plants located southwest of the park, and heavy traffic on Interstate 270, which bisects the park. Suburban sprawl makes the park an important preserve for wildlife, and the spread of exotic plants and an increase in deer population have already been documented.

National Capital Parks-East Permanent Link

December 2006

National Capital Parks-East includes 14 major sites covering over 8,000 acres within Washington, DC and three nearby counties in MD. The parks lie entirely within the Coastal Plain physiographic region and are managed for a variety of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. Significant natural features of the parks include sand and gravel beaches, shoreline bluffs, flood plain and upland forest, shell marl ravine forest with its associated fossil outcrops, two large river systems, and numerous streams, seeps, and wetlands. Major threats include those associated with its urban setting: overabundant deer populations, exotic species invasion, and stormwater and boundary management issues.

Prince William Forest Park Permanent Link

December 2006

Prince William Forest Park is the largest protected example of Piedmont forest in the National Park System. The ~15,000 acre park in northern VA also protects the Quantico Creek watershed, and is a sanctuary for numerous native plant and animal species. Because the park includes two physiographic provinces (Piedmont and Coastal Plain) and lies in the transition zone between northern and southern climates, it has a wide range of vegetative communities, including rare seepage swamp habitat and remote stands of old-growth eastern hemlock. Major threats to park resources include adjacent land development, noise pollution, and the introduction of invasive species and disease.

Rock Creek Park Permanent Link

December 2006

Rock Creek Park is one of the largest forested urban parks in the United States, containing a wide variety of natural, historical, and recreational features in the midst of Washington, D.C. The majority of the 3,000 acre park surrounds the lower watershed of Rock Creek and its tributaries as the drainage drops from the Piedmont Plateau to the Coastal Plain. The mixed deciduous forests, streams, and sensitive floodplain communities of the park represent a largely isolated natural system surrounded by urban areas, which impact park resources through traffic, flooding and pollution of park streams, introductions of invasive species, recreational demand, dumping, collecting, creation of unauthorized trails, and boundary encroachments.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts Permanent Link

December 2006

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is the only National Park dedicated to the performing arts. Performance structures on the 130 acre property include a 7,000-person main stage. The park includes protected stream, meadow, and forest patches in the urban Washington, DC landscape. Noise from the Dulles Toll Road threatens the primary function of the park as a performance venue and is a major management concern. Water quality degradation, exotic species introductions, deer overabundance, and the encroachment of development against park boundaries are also issues of concern.

Ecosystem health report cards: an approach to integrated assessment Permanent Link

The coastal zone supports a large and increasing human population, as well as a significant fraction of the global biological productivity, including most global fisheries. The diversity of habitats in the global coastal zone is heavily impacted by anthropogenic trapping and modifying of water on its way to the ocean. Integrated ecological assessment of the world’s coastal ecosystems is essential for effective management and remediation. The integration of management, monitoring, and science is required to solve the major environmental problems that are occurring in coastal zones around the world. Effective monitoring requires a significant investment of resources. Field work is expensive, data analysis is time-intensive, data integration requires high level scientific input, and recurring costs are subject to inflationary pressures. Integrated ecological assessment provides feedback on these monitoring investments by measuring the effectiveness of management actions. Societal momentum can then be created by successes in assessment and communication. Effective integrated assessment of ecosystem health must: be hypothesis-driven; be spatially and temporally explicit; be adaptable to changing management needs and research findings; be linked to a communication program; have timely outputs; and be highly visible to stakeholders. This poster presents processes and approaches to performing integrated ecological assessments, using an example from the Coastal Bays of Maryland, U.S.A.

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