Buffalo National River has conducted water-quality monitoring on the river and its tributaries since 1985. Analyses of the collected data indicates that elevated nitrate concentrations occur within the mid-reaches of the river specifically downriver from Pruitt access with the highest levels at the Woolum access. After this river segement, the nitrate concentration begins to decrease. The increased concentration has been linked to non-point source nutrient loading by several of the upper and middle tributaries. Currently, dye-tracing studies are being conducted to delineate the boundaries of some of these watersheds and determine the causes of the pollution. Declines in water-quality are generally a result of deforestation, non-point source pollution, and a general increase in watershed development without utilizing basic best management practices.