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.
Scientific Background and Purpose
EcoAtlas is synonymous with the framework and toolset of the Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan (WRAMP) of the California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup (CWMW). EcoAtlas operationalizes WRAMP 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 adjusted to more generally support natural resource planning, assessment, monitoring, and reporting (http://sfei.li/cwmw1). 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 WRAMP Framework page, cited above, contains a trove of studies, reports, and presentations that demonstrate the support the WRAMP framework and EcoAtlas. Key definitions for the elements of the WRAMP framework are available here.
A central aspect of the WRAMP framework is a classification of environmental data, their methods of collection, and their stated purposes into three levels.
Level 1 data: Maps and spatial information
These data consist of map-based inventories of aquatic areas and related resources, including rivers, streams, lakes, bays, wetlands, and their riparian areas, plus events and activities that have a direct effect on the distribution, abundance, diversity, or condition of aquatic resources. Level 1 maps may serve to plan and conduct landscape and watershed profiles of aquatic resource condition.
Level 2 data: General wetland condition information
This extensive dataset comprises rapid, field-based semi-quantitative measures of the overall condition of aquatic resources. In California, the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) is the most widely used Level 2 method for assessing the conditions of wetlands and streams. Other Level 2 assessments exist and may also be used when needed.
Level 3 data: Specific condition information
These datasets are quantitative, field measurements of specific aspects of condition. Plant species composition, nesting bird surveys, spawning success, and groundwater recharge rates are examples of Level 3 data types. Level 3 methods can vary from site to site for the same kinds of Level 3 data (http://www.mywaterquality.ca.gov/monitoring_council/wetland_workgroup/index.html) EcoAtlas currently displays detailed condition data on water and sediment toxicity from various studies throughout the State. These data are provided by California Environmental Data Exchange Network (CEDEN) so users may view water quality data relevant to wetland condition.
Information about the data sources used on EcoAtlas is available on the Data page.
With constant renewal and redevelopment, EcoAtlas has been serving the San Francisco Bay Region and broader California constituencies for almost 20 years.
The Project Tracker tracks restoration projects, including maps, habitat plans, contact information, and a library of project files.
The Landscape Profile Tool summarizes ecological information at various spatial scales for assessment, planning, and reporting.
The CARI Editor allows users to submit updates, deletions or new features for streams and wetlands. An email is sent to acknowledge receipt of the request, however the review and processing of edits is dependent on available resources.
Programs and Focus Areas:
Environmental Informatics Program
Wetland Monitoring & Assessment