Jun 26, 2013
SFEI, on behalf of the Wetland Monitoring Workgroup is releasing a series of technology tools to help with aquatic resource protection and management. “These new online tools will empower Californians to access information about the value and health of their wetlands,” said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld. “The release of the Wetlands Portal and EcoAtlas represents a multi-agency collaborative effort to inform the public and support better aquatic resource management.” These versatile, statewide tools will help a range of users: the public can learn about wetlands and wetlands protection, resource managers can find information needed to make key decisions, and scientists will have a new critical resource for studying wetland ecosystems. Furthermore, the new tools mutually enhance one another.
Lets users integrate data and information about aquatic resources and the factors that influence them. More below...
Information for the public about wetland health. More below...
Revamped website for the California Rapid Assessment method for wetland health Data entry, training information, and field books. More below...
A new base map of streams, rivers, and wetlands throughout the state.
Successful wetland protection is complex and requires consideration of aquatic and terrestrial resources, natural and human influences. Those interested in protecting these important resources must decide where to prioritize wetland restoration, what the likelihood of success is, and what tradeoffs should be considered, such as development needs, species protection, flood control, etc. EcoAtlas is designed to support these decisions. By compiling state and federal maps and data about wetlands, EcoAtlas gives site visitors access to salient information about the condition and extent of streams, wetlands, lakes, and their surrounding riparian areas. It serves wetland practitioners through its advanced features and depth of detail needed for wetlands management. When using the exploratory features, EcoAtlas users benefit from relevant spatial context for the information they access. More Info: www.ecoatlas.org
The Wetlands Portal is the latest in the series of My Water Quality Portals (www.MyWaterQuality.ca.gov) designed to help the general public find answers to fundamental questions related to water quality both in their communities and across the state as a whole. Initially launched in 2009 by the Monitoring Council, this website houses a wide collection of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health data about our state’s lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and ocean waters. The goal is to provide timely information in an easy-to-understand manner for the public, environmental organizations, and water resource professionals. This is the third portal for which SFEI helped to develop either content or spatial data display.
- The Safe to Eat portal lets the public know if the fish found in various water bodies in California are known to have accumulated contaminants at Levels of Concern.
- The Healthy Streams portal answers questions about the extent and condition of California streams.
- And the new Wetlands portal answers the questions: Where are our
wetlands and how are they doing?
The California Rapid Assessment Method is a cost-effective and scientifically sound method for monitoring wetland condition.
The California Aquatic Resource Inventory is a standardized statewide map of wetlands, streams, and riparian areas. This Geographic Information System (GIS) dataset provides accurate and detailed information about wetland and riparian extent for management, planning, and scientific study of the State’s aquatic resources. More info: http://www.sfei.org/it/gis/cari
EcoAtlas replaces the “Wetland Tracker” tool at www.californiawetlands.net which has been providing online access to wetland restoration project information for a decade. Once a regional tool, the Wetland Tracker was expanded statewide five years ago and includes project details for 895 projects in 18 counties of the State. The modern and historical baylands data from the 1999 Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals report, formerly housed at ecoatlas.org, can be obtained per request. Contact Kristen Cayce, [email protected].
EcoAtlas was developed by the San Francisco Estuary Institute – Aquatic Science Center under the direction of the California Water Quality Monitoring Council’s California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup. Workgroup participants are from a variety of organizations with special expertise in wetland monitoring and assessment. Major funding for these tools was provided by the EPA. The State Water Resources Control Board also provided critical funding.
Programs and Focus Areas:
Environmental Informatics Program
Related Projects, News, and Events:
California's EcoAtlas provides access to information for effective wetland management. EcoAtlas is a set of tools for generating, assembling, storing, visualizing, sharing, and reporting environmental data and information. The tools can be used individually or together, and they can be adjusted or tuned to meet the specific needs of environmental planners, regulators, managers, scientists, and educators. The maps and tools can be used to create a complete picture of aquatic resources in the landscape by integrating stream and wetland maps, restoration information, and monitoring results with land use, transportation, and other information important to the state’s wetlands.
California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) (Project)
CRAM is a standardized, scientifically defensible rapid assessment method for monitoring the ecological conditions of wetlands throughout California. Because it is standardized, one can compare ecological conditions of wetlands locally, regionally and statewide.
California Aquatic Resource Inventory (CARI) (Project)
The California Aquatic Resources Inventory (CARI) is a Geographic Information System (GIS) based map of wetlands, streams, and riparian areas within California that is hosted online through EcoAtlas.