SE Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Metadata Project Web Database
The Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Metadata Database for the Southeast region, encompassed the Department of the Interior’s South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) from Virginia to Florida. The database was designed with National Park Service funding to store detailed information on water quality monitoring programs operated by federal, state and municipal agencies, as well as by research institutions, including monitoring station locations, measured parameters, program contacts, and links to program web pages and data downloads.
Important Note! This resource is no longer being actively maintained.
Department of Interior Secretarial Order 3289 established a Department-wide approach for applying scientific tools to increase understanding of climate change and to coordinate an effective response to its impacts on tribes and on the land, water, ocean, fish and wildlife, and cultural heritage resources that the Department manages. Working at the landscape, regional, and national scales through the establishment of DOI Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, the Department is defining and implementing a vision that integrates DOI science and management expertise with that of our partners, providing information and best management practices available to support strategic adaptation and mitigation efforts on both public and private lands across the U.S. and internationally.
In FY 2010, the Southeast Coast Network received additional program funds to (a) expand monitoring efforts that will improve understanding of the effects of climate change on park resources, and (b) expand partnerships with other federal, state, academic, and NGO institutions to conduct resource conservation within the context of the DOI-led Landscape Conservation Cooperatives program.
As a part of this effort, the Georgia Coastal Research Council developed a metadata-level database of existing water quality monitoring programs across the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) geographic range. Specific objectives of this project were to expand the SECN’s coastal metadatabase project to:
- Incorporate water quality metadata information from national databases into the database.
- Identify project partners from the region, and work with them to provide descriptions of water quality sampling programs.
- Enter water quality metadata for new programs.
- Host the database and web portal until such time as it can be transferred to NPS.
This report describes the updates that were made to the system and the website since the original project, summarizes the results of each project objective, and includes a discussion of challenges faced in meeting those objectives.
Alber, M., W. Sheldon, C. Laporte, and T. Douce. 2012. Water quality metadatabase for the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Natural Resource Report NPS/SECN/NRR—2012/581. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
This paper describes the development and initial implementation of a Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Metadata Database for the Southeast region (from NC to FL), which was developed with funding from the National Park Service. The database was designed to store detailed information on water quality monitoring programs operated by federal, state and municipal agencies, as well as by research institutions, including monitoring station locations, measured parameters, program contacts, and links to program web pages and data downloads. Water quality parameter records are classified into parameter groups and categories to support searches at varying levels of specificity, and are matched to US EPA STORET codes when possible for interoperability with federal databases. Fields for defining sample media, units and methodology are also provided for additional context. A prototype web portal, web services and mapping services were developed to support search and display of database contents, and to support leveraging by other database and portal efforts. Information from 41 monitoring programs in the South Atlantic was initially loaded into the database in 2009, including metadata on 16,182 stations at which 1093 distinct parameters are measured; the number of programs is currently being expanded. This database provides an ongoing inventory of monitoring activities for the southeast region and will help to facilitate identification of data gaps or under- or over-sampled areas. On a broader scale, the project’s water quality metadata database and web portal have timely relevance to the broad community of coastal managers, researchers, planners and constituents as they make significant progress in leveraging and focusing regional associations and partnerships.
Wade M. Sheldon, Christine Laporte, Travis Douce, and Merryl Alber. 2011. A Coastal Water Quality Metadata Database for the Southeast U.S.A. Proceedings of the 2011 Georgia Water Resources Conference, April 11-13, 2011, University of Georgia
This report describes the development of the SE Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Metadata Database and its initial application. Our goal for the database was to develop a tool for storing critical information about water quality monitoring programs, their sponsoring organizations, monitoring locations, and measured parameters. We wanted a flexible design that could accommodate variable types and amounts of information for each resource and support changing the types of metadata stored in the database without changing the underlying database structure and web interfaces. We also wanted to support direct links to data for monitoring stations whenever possible, and include cross-references to EPA STORET codes for parameters to support inclusion of data stored in USGS and US EPA databases. Finally, we wanted the database to provide detailed information on measurements when available (e.g. medium, units, methods).
The geographic scope of the project includes the Coastal Zones of NC, SC, GA and the east coast of FL. We operationally defined a coastal zone polygon using ESRI ArcGIS. The boundaries of the polygon were based on the location of the 5 ft. elevation contour, expanded westward to include the furthest down-river USGS streamflow gauge and eastward to include near-shore NOAA data buoys and other platforms. The geographic scope of the database is not rigidly defined, and may be expanded in the future based on NPS and user feedback. The database was designed to include information on water quality data collected by federal, state, and municipal agencies as well as by research institutions.
Wade M. Sheldon, Christine Laporte, John Carpenter, and Merryl Alber. 2009. Southeast coastal water quality monitoring metadata tools: Database and web applications. Natural Resource Report NPS/SECN/NRR—2009/159. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
The National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring Program conducts long-term monitoring for key indicators, or “vital signs.” These “vital signs” are measurable, early indicators of changes that could impair the long-term health of natural ecosystems. In the southeast region, the Southeast Coast Network (SECN, has identified “Marine Water Quality” as a key vital sign and begun monitoring water quality in parks within the network.
In addition to the Park Service, numerous other agencies and institutions collect water quality data in the southeast coast region. The SECN identified the need to collect and consolidate this information so that coastal managers, researchers and other users can readily locate sampling efforts by location and methods. The Georgia Coastal Research Council is working with NPS to address this need. The project involves compiling a database of long-term monitoring program metadata and summarizing long-term monitoring efforts in the region. This metadata will be available through an interactive web portal.
As part of this project, a workshop was organized in order to bring together representatives from various agencies and institutions involved in coastal water quality monitoring in the southeast. This report describes the workshop, which was held on June 5, 2008 at Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, SC.