Environmental data capable of demonstrating changes and trends in contaminants of concern to scientists and policymakers are crucial to understand the benefits of past and future regulatory and voluntary actions. While there will always be uncertainty associated with observed trends and the potential benefits of remedial actions, high-quality environmental data will enhance management and policy development capabilities. In addition, defensible environmental trend data are needed to assess the benefits society receives

or can expect to receive in return for the resources invested in pollution control measures. In short, without good environmental monitoring, we may never know if we are making sound stewardship decisions.