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Multidecadal Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program assessing human impacts on aquatic ecosystems within the Oak Ridge R...

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Hydrological Processes
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Human activities can be powerful drivers of ecosystem change within catchments. While most long-term catchment studies have been conducted at pristine sites, such studies are less common from sites more impacted by human activity. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program (BMAP) was developed in the mid-1980s to (1) assess compliance with environmental regulations, (2) identify causes of adverse ecological impacts, (3) provide data for human and ecological risk assessments, and (4) evaluate the effectiveness of remedial actions taken to mitigate the impacts of contaminants in soils, groundwater, and surface water by documenting ecological recovery on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), a federally owned 33,476-acre site in eastern Tennessee, USA, managed by the U.S. Department of Energy. The ORR is composed of multiple watersheds containing many small to mid-size streams. BMAP uses an integrated approach for determining stream health; its databases include long-term seasonal records of contaminant concentrations in water and biota, data from aquatic toxicity testing, and surveys of macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages from impacted and reference streams. These long-term data provide valuable records of degradation and recovery in catchment ecosystems. Our objective here is to describe our study system and data series in order to increase awareness of the availability of these long-term data to the catchment science community.