This project is funded by an USEPA wetland development grant (2015-2017) to develop a recommended funding and business model for the EcoAtlas toolset. EcoAtlas is synonymous with the framework and toolset recommended in the State's Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan (WRAMP) of the California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup (CWMW). EcoAtlas operationalizes WRAMP framework by enabling users to assess the abundance, distribution, diversity, and condition of surface waters in the landscape or watershed context. EcoAtlas has been used to apply the WRAMP framework for wetland and stream protection in a variety of California watersheds, and it can be adapted to support natural resource planning, assessment, monitoring, and reporting. EcoAtlas, in essence, represents a distillation of the best science-based, rigorous thinking and planning conducted by the CWMW over the course of many years.
The Business Plan project requires delivery of several planning documents, including initial planning memos and a final, compiled recommendation for an EcoAtlas business plan to support standardized wetland and riparian area monitoring and assessment in support of the State’s Wetland Policy. As the memos are completed, they will be submitted to SFEI’s online documents library and made available through links below.
Memo1: Introduce EcoAtlas (link)
An overview of the EcoAtlas tools, their intended (target) user community, and the short- and long-term intended applications.
Memo 2: Existing Business Models
Summary of existing funding models for data management, visualization, and access services (such as those that support CNDDB, BIOS, SWAMP). The advantages of using regionally customized tools that draw from EcoAtlas’ core functions will be presented along with examples of existing and emerging regional programs that are adopting EcoAtlas.
Memo 3: Final Recommendation for the EcoAtlas Toolset Business Plan
This final memo recommends potential business model/s for EcoAtlas tools for wetland monitoring and assessment to support the intended user community.
California Water Quality Monitoring Council Endorsement
On February 13, 2018, the California Water Quality Monitoring Council formally endorsed the Business Plan, as documented in this letter. The Council has been very encouraging regarding the California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup's pursuit of sustainable funding.
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.
SFEI and the Santa Clara Valley Water District's (Valley Water) Priority D-5 Project have been conducting baseline ecological condition assessments in Santa Clara County, CA to characterize the distribution and abundance of stream and wetlands in five major watersheds, and assess the overall ecological condition of streams in the watersheds based on the California Rapic Assessment Method for streams (CRAM). The surveys employ the state's recommended Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan's aproach that includes the use of GIS-base maps of aquatice resources (BAARI), and spatially-balanced ambient stream surveys using CRAM.
SFEI’s Wetland Science Focus Area’s Director, Josh Collins, is a leader in the coordination of statewide science advisory teams and acquiring funding to develop monitoring and assessment tools that support the State’s Wetland and Riparian Area Protection Policy.
The Tahoe WRAMP Watershed Demontration Project transfered statewide wetland monitoring and asseement tools to Sierra Nevada environmental agencies and organizations through a pilot project that assessed the distribution and abundance of wetlands, and the overall ecologcial condition of streams in two watersheds within the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The Santa Rosa Plain WRAMP project demonstrated the use of the State’s standardized monitoring and assessment tools in a North Coast watershed setting and described how the results can support watershed based management and planning decisions to protect and manage the state’s wetlands at a landscape scale.
Web services provide a standard way to access geo-referenced data online. SFEI now provides web services for the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) Assessment Areas and California Wetland Projects data layers.Although potential uses are numerous, typically web services allow one machine to exchange data with another for timely, automated, and efficient sharing of information. Different service types provide different levels of access to the data, including serving image tiles of the data or the features and attributes themselves.