Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Maine
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Maine Project

Identification, characterization, and threat assessment of groundwater dependent ecosystems in the northeastern United States with an integrated GIS- and field survey-based approach

August 2018 - September 2023


Participating Agencies

  • USGS-SSP Program

Groundwater is an important source of freshwater for human populations worldwide, and management of this resource typically is focused on ensuring quality and quantity for human use. Many aquatic systems receive groundwater as a portion of base water flow, and in some systems (e.g., springs, seepages, subterranean streams, fens, vernal pools) the connection with groundwater is significant and important to the system’s integrity and persistence. Groundwater management decisions for human use often do not consider ecological effects of those actions on groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs), which rely on groundwater to maintain ecological function. This disconnect between management and ecological needs potentially results in damage to these resources that have repercussions for both GDEs and human populations that rely on them. This is a collaboration of the US Geological Survey Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Maine, and Tennessee State University. Our research is proposed in stages, initially applying spatial analysis tools to identify areas likely to contain GDEs, followed by field-based assessment of selected areas predicted to contain high quality GDEs or GDE clusters, to better understand their landscape context and watershed-level threats, characterize hydrologic conditions, and describe the species they support. Products will include an assessment of threats to areas predicted to contain GDEs, a user guide for deploying continuous hydrological monitoring equipment, and resources for evaluating GDE presence in areas predicted to contain these systems.

Presentations Presentation Date
Snyder, S., C.S. Loftin, and A.S. Reeve. 2020. Mapping Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems in the Northeastern U.S. with the Maximum Entropy Algorithm (MaxENT). Poster presentation at the 2020 Spring Conference of the American Water Resources Association, Geospatial Water Technology Conference: Complex Systems. 4-13 August, moved to web conference platform August 2020