Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station is undertaking a project to compile baseline data for Pennsylvania’s freshwater lakes, rivers and streams into a central database. This project is designed to aid in climate change research, as well as future projects and efforts focused on the health of Pennsylvanian freshwater. Organizations who may be able to assist are asked to read through the following information and return the DCNRProjectSurvey to Lacawac Sanctuary by July 25th, 2016. The project is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural resources.
Climate change currently affects natural systems in Pennsylvania and future projections display a continuation of trends. Rises in atmospheric temperature and precipitation frequency and severity play roles in the long-term well being of Pennsylvania lakes, rivers, and streams. This research project will compile important data from fresh waters across the state of Pennsylvania. Freshwater ecosystems are excellent indicators of climate change because they are found low in the landscape, therefore integrating and consolidating changes from the surrounding landscape and atmosphere. They are also highly responsive to climate change and exhibit numerous physical, chemical and biological responses. Undisturbed systems with minimal long-term human alteration (e.g. land use change) are typically the most informative due to a lack of confounding factors.
This project will benefit future statewide efforts focused on the health of Pennsylvanian fresh waters. The compiled database will be useful for future projects aimed at understanding how climate change is shaping freshwater ecosystems in Pennsylvania including their physical, chemical, and biological integrity as well as their biodiversity. The database will be important for state agencies tasked with interpreting how climate change has and will be impacting fresh waters, as well as expanding knowledge and management of such systems. For example, a robust baseline data set must be available to assess and manage long-term changes in state fisheries, the occurrence of toxic cyanobacteria blooms, or freshwater mussel diversity.
If your organization has records of the desired parameters on fresh waters found in Pennsylvania, I invite you to contact Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station and return the attached survey sheet. This survey sheet discloses all information desired to carry out this project. Thank you for your time and consideration; the collection of this data has important long-term implications that will benefit Pennsylvania’s freshwater systems and therefore benefit the state’s biological and ecological integrity.
Sarah DeVaul Princiotta, PHD
Director of Education and Research, Lacawac Santuary & Field Station
Organizations able to participate may return completed project surveys to:
94 Sanctuary Road
Lake Ariel, PA 18436
Participating organizations are asked to complete the project survey by July 25th, 2016