The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System contributes 10% of drinking water throughout the United States. In addition, these rivers are essential for their cultural, recreational, and natural value.

Adventure Scientists’ Wild and Scenic Rivers Project collected water quality data in prioritized locations across the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Since 2020, volunteers have completed 1,323 surveys across 197 rivers. The project is now in its next phase: water quality data are with federal agency partners, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service­, for data analysis and applications to management and regulatory processes.

Collection for this project ended in early 2023. Data are available through Adventure Scientists or the EPA’s Water Quality Portal.

Data That Drives Change​

These data empower managers of these rivers to preserve water resources that support wildlife, recreation, fishing, and human communities.

Read the Final Report

Our Partners

Our partners at the USFS, BLM, and NPS as well as 40 state agencies requested these data to better understand the water quality status and conditions on these rivers.

State water quality agencies use the data to inform their management decisions to comply with the Clean Water Act and supplement existing data to prioritize future assessments.

In the Field

We carefully trained volunteers and provided equipment to collect in-stream data on water quality. In addition, volunteers assessed habitat, surveyed invasive species, and collected water samples at select sites.

​On Utah’s Wild and Scenic Green River, Adventure Scientists volunteers Lindsay Hunt and Sean Tropsa share why they love adventuring for science and what it’s like to collect water quality data that will help protect Wild and Scenic rivers into the future.

Priority Rivers

The map below shows water quality surveys collected by volunteers. To explore this data set further, follow this link to a more detailed data explorer.