SNEP Watershed Grant - Regional Collection and Analysis of Cape Cod Water Resources Data to Inform Local Decision-Making
Supported by a Watershed Grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency's Southeast New England Program (SNEP), the Cape Cod Commission worked with project partners the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Center for Coastal Studies, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, to develop a regional water quality database and user interface.
Given that funding for water quality monitoring programs may come from a variety of sources, the large amount of historical data that exists has traditionally been scattered among numerous stakeholders throughout the region. To effectively take advantage of the resource that this immense data set presents, the database had to be developed in such a way that it:
- Aggregated data from multiple monitoring organizations into a single format, location, and data set
- Adapted to accommodate different formatting and metadata systems already in use by the monitoring organizations
- Made all data publicly available via web interface, with intuitive data exploration and analysis capabilities
To most effectively utilize development resources and budget, the project team used a unique end-user engagement process to fine-tune access and display of the data, and to develop a water quality analysis toolbox that met the specific needs of the end-user group. The interface and analysis toolbox provide users with the ability to:
- View water quality from the database
- Filter the data by specifying certain geographic and time scales
- See results of time series analyses for their region of interest via a publicly accessible web interface.
With improved access to this newly assembled body of regional data, and the additional analysis available through the water quality analysis toolbox, municipal planners and decision-makers are able to generate custom data views and analyses to better inform decisions about existing and planned nutrient reduction projects. This application adds to a suite of tools available to equip town staff with the best available data for planning to address water quality at the local and regional levels.
Additional detail can be obtained from the Water Quality Portal's Resources tab: