The Lahontan Water Board (Regional Water Board 6) has formally adopted EcoAtlas and the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM). This will enable the Water Board to visually track and assess the extent of project impacts on a watershed basis throughout the region.
Beginning August 1 of this year, 401 Certifications and Waste Discharge Requirements will require applicants to upload project information into EcoAtlas. Applicants will be encouraged to use CRAM in pre- and post- project assessments.
CRAM assessments of riverine and slope wetland projects subject to 401 Certification or Waste Discharge Orders are expected to be required in the Truckee River, Lake Tahoe and Carson River watersheds beginning in 2017. This requirement will be expanded to other wetland types and watersheds in the future.
In addition, two regional datasets have been integrated into EcoAtlas. The Tahoe Aquatic Regional Inventory (TARI v2.1) base map was updated to include additional mapping in the Tahoe basin conducted by the Spatial Informatics Group (SIG) and integrated into California Aquatic Regional Inventory (CARI). Project information from the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program (EIP) is regularly obtained using a web service developed by the Sitka Technology Group and displayed on EcoAtlas.
These successes are part of a two-year project funded by the USEPA to create an EcoAtlas user community for the Lahontan region and are the result of collaboration between the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and the San Francisco Estuary Institute.
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This project will create an EcoAtlas user community for the Lahontan region of the Sierra Nevada to develop capacities within the region to apply EcoAtlas through existing local, regional, state, and federal programs to track projects and summarize map-based and rapid assessment information at the watershed scale.