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Monitoring and Research

NPS Management Program

The NPS Management Program performs or otherwise enables a variety of water quality monitoring services to include participation in the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), funding of water quality monitoring projects through the Growing Greener program, and enabling local water quality monitoring through the Conservation District Watershed Specialist program among other things.  Further, the NPS Management Program ensures that Pennsylvania remains at the forefront of watershed restoration through partnering with colleges, universities, and others who perform cutting edge research on the efficacy and impact of watershed restoration techniques.

In the past DEP’s NPS Management Program was involved in the National Monitoring Program. Quoting from the EPA website:

The purposes of EPA's Section 319 National Nonpoint Source Monitoring Program (NNPSMP) are to:
  • provide credible documentation of the feasibility of controlling nonpoint sources, and
  • improve the technical understanding of nonpoint source pollution and the effectiveness of nonpoint source control technology and approaches.
These objectives are to be achieved through intensive monitoring and evaluation of a subset of watershed projects funded under Section 319.

National Monitoring Program

Pennsylvania had four watersheds that participated in the National Monitoring Program which provided valuable information. The links below will direct you to some of the information that has been gleaned as a result of DEP’s participation in this national EPA program.

If a potential program partner or grantee would like to use Section 319 funding to perform water quality monitoring, that potential grantee will be expected to prepare and include with a grant application, a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP). Ultimately, prior to commencement of the monitoring work funded with Section 319 funds, the QAPP must be approved by EPA. Guidance can be found below.


Pennsylvania enjoys a robust network of education and nonprofit partners who work collaboratively to further the science of nonpoint source pollution and to better address nonpoint source pollution challenges. Below is an abbreviated list of entities involved with nonpoint source pollution research and abatement in the commonwealth.