Enhance Decision Tools and Information Management
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is developing decision-support tools to help Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) partners improve efficiency and accountability when applying practices and policies to achieve their goals and carry out the President’s Executive Order 13508—Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The decision tools will help partners focus on actions that will provide the greatest benefit for water quality, habitat restoration, and land protection. The tools listed below compliment the CBP ChesapeakeStat site, which aids partners in carrying out an adaptive management decision framework. USGS tools being developed include:
- Nontidal Water-quality Loads and Trends
The Nontidal Network Web sites provide access to information on nutrient and sediment loads and trends at sites in the Chesapeake nontidal water-quality monitoring network, including the river-input monitoring (RIM) sites. You can use the data to help assess the water-quality change in selected watersheds. Water Quality Loads and Trends information.
- Water-quality Mapper with USGS SPARROW Information
The Watershed Contribution Mapper helps users select areas in which to enhance water-quality actions based on the major sources (source sectors) of nutrients and sediment affecting the Chesapeake Bay. The data used for selecting areas in the Watershed Contribution Mapper are primarily based on SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) model results. The mapper contains additional information on local water-quality conditions and the amount of surface water and groundwater in different areas (the base-flow index) that affect the movement of nutrients evaluated by the Watershed Contribution Mapper. For national SPARROW results, including the 2002 NHDPlus Chesapeake Bay models, go to the National Sparrow Decision Support Tool, which also allows a user to run scenarios for nutrient reductions.
- Forest Conservation Mapper
The Forested Land Management Mapper provides access to information about important resource lands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It allows users to rank important environmental indicator data sets to create their own priority maps.
- High-Resolution Landcover Mapper (H-R LCM)
The High-Resolution Landcover Mapper is a downloadable tool that tracks watershed land-cover conditions. The tool can be used to classify riparian forest buffer conditions and calculate statistics.
- Chesapeake LandScope
Chesapeake LandScope is a collaboration between the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and NatureServe. The tool allows users to select the highest priority areas for land conservation.
The USGS is improving information management and access to Chesapeake Bay watershed data. As part of the USGS’s Core Science Systems activities, we are working to populate the agency-wide ScienceBase data catalog with published USGS Chesapeake Bay Activities datasets. A data catalog is an online searchable collection of metadata and data. The USGS is also working with CBP partners to establish a data enterprise to more easily access and share information.