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National Environmental Research Park

In the 1970s, the National Environmental Research Park (NERP) program created seven NERPs to set aside land for ecosystem preservation and study.

The Hanford NERP includes:

  • Central Hanford, managed by DOEOpens in new window, inclusive of the 100 and 200 area industrial sites which contains nuclear production facilities in various stages of closure, and
  • The Hanford Reach National MonumentOpens in new window, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Monument includes all of the lands north of the Columbia River and the 312 square kilometers (120 square miles) Fitzner-Eberhardt Arid Lands Ecology Reserve, which is located on the western side of the site.

Research at the NERP has encompassed - plant and animal ecology, geology, hydrology (both surface and groundwater), climate, soils and soil/water interactions, and contaminant transport to name a few. Some of these studies have lasted over 50 years and have provided the foundation for several long-term ecological studies. While these studies were designed to answer specific research questions, the length and consistency of the records enable the data to be used to answer broader questions relating to the maintenance of species, environmental restoration, and land management.

Hanford NERP