Air is resource that cannot be seen or touched, one that crosses city, state, national, and even park boundaries. Air quality is important not only to our health, but it’s also vital to our natural resources. Pollutants in the air can have serious effects on wildlife, vegetation, lakes, streams, soils, and visibility.

Most air pollution that impacts park resources is emitted from sources outside of the parks. Pollutants move by wind and can come from nearby or travel from hundreds of miles away. However, air pollution is also emitted inside parks as a result of various in-park activities. The National Park Service is thus committed to applying the highest standards of environmental stewardship to its own operations.

The National Park Service Air Resources Division administers an extensive Air Monitoring Program that measures air pollution levels and associated ecological effects in national parks. Point Reyes National Seashore and Pinnacles National Park are two of the almost 70 park units that are actively monitoring air quality and related values.