Bay Area Aquatic Resource Inventory (BAARI)

BAARI GIS Data Now Available

A wetland and riparian base map for the region

BAARI is a highly detailed base map of the Bay Area's aquatic features that includes all wetlands, open water, streams, ditches, tidal marshes and flats, and riparian areas.

BAARI is being used to track changes in the extent and condition of aquatic habitat, aid in ecological sample drawing, and resource planning and management. BAARI is viewable on EcoAtlas, where users can browse the area's aquatic features and restoration projects on an interactive map.


BAARI was created using a Geographic Information System (GIS) with true color imagery and a suite of ancillary data sources, and has undergone extensive quality control to ensure accuracy. Features were hand-digitized while referencing ancillary sources, which include national datasets for elevation and wetlands, output from stream models, local wetland and stream data, and Google Earth for spotting temporal variation.

Mapping procedures and standards can be found here.

Project Extent:

linework progress


These maps have been made to a standard of quality so that they can be used by both environmental scientists and resource managers. We can apply this map to:

Manage our resources
Government agencies and managers can identify and prioritize opportunities for ecological restoration and enhancement of wetlands and watersheds; track changes in the extent of wetlands and other habitats; evaluate the success of policies related to wetland protection, mitigation, and restoration; understand impacts at a watershed and landscape scale; and track habitat changes resulting from climate change and establish policies for resilient landscapes.

Study our environment
Scientists can analyze the landscape with BAARI to answer questions and design research studies. How many acres of a given habitat exist to support key species? Are there corridors that facilitate wildlife movement? How can we design an experiment that characterizes the resources in a select watershed? How do present day aquatic resources compare to past landscapes? How do species populations relate to available habitat?

Hydrologists can use this detailed channel network in their models to improve runoff and loading calculations. BAARI could also assist contaminant point source tracking.

Maps give us a sense of place and help orient us to our landscape. BAARI can educate Creeks Friends groups, NGOs, and the general public about their watersheds and the different aquatic resources and wetland types in their area, thus helping to create communities of effective environmental stewards.

BAARI can help planners visualize the effects of development choices, Low Impact Development implementation, and possible links between green space and available aquatic resources. BAARI can support flood control and flood infrastructure improvement planning.

Key Links

BAARI_Presentation_@_UCBerkeley_110204.ppt37.56 MB