Shenandoah National Park
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,Nothing is going to get better. It's Not. - The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
Every living thing is affected by what's in the air. To protect and improve air quality, it's vital to know what's in the air, how it got there, and how it affects plants, animals, and humans.The Big Meadows air quality monitoring station does exactly that. This equipment collects data on weather, visibility, ozone levels, and pollutants in the air. Scientists across the nation use the data to advise protection agencies and lawmakers about regulations that will help reduce pollution and protect the air we breathe.This monitoring station has been providing data for over 30 years, giving scientists some of the most valuable information available about trends in air quality over time. The data shows that when strong regulations are in place, the quality of the air improves.Cleaner air means cleaner water, healthier lives for plants, animals, and humans, and more beautiful views from the peaks and overlooks of Shenandoah. Learn more about air quality monitoring and what you can do at Bryd Visitor Center, or visit our website: www.nps.gov.shen. Funded in part by the Shenandoah National Park Trust. < Photograph Captions: >
views from Shenandoah's overlooks and mountaintops draw visitors from around the world. Protecting the views is part of the responsibility of being a national park. Scientists estimate that without pollution you could see 115 miles. But these days, increased haze limits your views to just 23 miles on average. Clear days are a rare treat, with moderate days being the norm. A string of hot, humid days can produce visibility that obscures even the closest ridge.Among national parks, Shenandoah experiences some of the highest ground-level ozone. One of the first signs of damage appears as brown spots on milkweed leaves.Acid rain pollutes our streams and endangers fragile aquatic life. What appear to be clear mountain streams can be lethal to the acid-sensitive fish that live there.Each piece of equipment collects information that helps scientists understand and fight for what's needed to preserve Shenandoah's vital resources. You can help!