Stream Monitoring Database

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$50,000
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$50,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$40,000
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$40,000
Source: 
Clean Water Fund
Status: 
In Progress
Start Date: 
July 2011
Activity Type: 
Digitization/Online Information Access
Counties Affected: 
Statewide
Project Details:
2015 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2013, Ch. 137, Art. 2, Sec. 6(g)
Appropriation Language 
$675,000 the first year and $675,000 the second year are for applied research and tools, including watershed hydrologic modeling; maintaining and updating spatial data for watershed boundaries, streams, and water bodies and integrating high-resolution digital elevation data; assessing effectiveness of forestry best management practices for water quality; and developing an ecological monitoring database.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$50,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY15, DNR will continue cooperative work with PCA to create the IBI scoring tool that will facilitate data sharing between the agencies, with a useable tool planned for completion by the end of FY15. PCA will be exploring their options for future storage of aquatic life data from streams, and DNR will continue to be involved in that process so that the potential for data sharing between agencies can be enhanced. We will continue work on our database structure and test-versions of user interface application screens, with a version ready for field testing by spring of 2015 that allows for entry of all components of the MN DNR Stream Survey Manual.
Project Details:
2014 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2013, Ch. 137, Art. 2, Sec. 6(g)
Appropriation Language 
$675,000 the first year and $675,000 the second year are for applied research and tools, including watershed hydrologic modeling; maintaining and updating spatial data for watershed boundaries, streams, and water bodies and integrating high-resolution digital elevation data; assessing effectiveness of forestry best management practices for water quality; and developing an ecological monitoring database.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$50,000
Direct expenses: 
$30,000
Administration costs: 
$19,436
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
0.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY14, DNR will work with partners to create the physical bio-monitoring database tables and prototype user interface application screens for entering data using the business object model created in FY13, and they will develop a prototype ready for testing by spring of 2014 that allows for entry of all components of the MN DNR Stream Survey Manual.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY14, progress was slower than expected due to other information technology projects competing for the time of key staff, so that a prototype database is not yet available for testing. Progress was made in modifying the DNR’s existing Survey Database to allow entry and storage of some types of stream data. Parts of the database and screens for data entry of fish surveys are complete, and work was begun but is not yet complete on water quality and connectivity data. Progress was also made on choosing a format for storage of stream geomorphology data (i.e. the physical characteristics of the stream such as slope, width, depth). The DNR and PCA are exploring development of a shared tool for creating Index of Biotic Integrity scores that will also serve as a common location for DNR and PCA streams data. Discussions between DNR and PCA concluded that a shared database would be difficult to implement, but that potential options for data sharing between the agencies should be enhanced through use of formats in our respective databases that allows for sharing information across agencies.
Project Details:
2013 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(g)
Appropriation Language 
$1,725,000 the first year and $1,725,000 the second year are for shoreland stewardship, TMDL implementation coordination, providing technical assistance to the Drainage Work Group and Drainage Management Team, and maintaining and updating data. Of this amount, $235,000 each year is for maintaining and updating watershed boundaries and integrating high-resolution digital elevation data with watershed modeling and $40,000 each year is for a biomonitoring database. TMDL implementation coordination efforts shall be focused on major watersheds with TMDL implementation plans, including forested watersheds.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$40,000
Direct expenses: 
$44,760
Administration costs: 
$3,880
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
0.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY13, DNR will work with multiple PCA and DNR programs to develop a pilot version of a stream monitoring database. Development will include a prototype interface program for users to enter data.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY13, DNR worked with multiple PCA and DNR program staff on developing a common stream biomonitoring database. A model outlining the structure of the database was completed during FY13, laying the groundwork for database construction in FY14. Development of the physical database tables and user interface application was delayed during 2013 by a thorough business analysis modeling of PCA database tables, and by PCA staff and MN IT @ DNR staff time limitations due to other project priorities.
Project Details:
2012 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Ch. 6, Art. 2, Sec. 6(g)
Appropriation Language 
$1,725,000 the first year and $1,725,000 the second year are for shoreland stewardship, TMDL implementation coordination, providing technical assistance to the Drainage Work Group and Drainage Management Team, and maintaining and updating data. Of this amount, $235,000 each year is for maintaining and updating watershed boundaries and integrating high-resolution digital elevation data with watershed modeling and $40,000 each year is for a biomonitoring database. TMDL implementation coordination efforts shall be focused on major watersheds with TMDL implementation plans, including forested watersheds.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$40,000
Direct expenses: 
$40,000
Administration costs: 
$0
Number of full time equivalents funded: 
0.0
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY12, DNR will lead a multi-agency effort to develop a data management structure for storing and sharing stream and river data.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY12, DNR hired a consultant to assist in creating a framework for a stream monitoring database. A key part of the process was identifying programs within DNR and MPCA that collect similar types of data, which will become candidates for inclusion in the database. Working with DNR staff, the consultant developed a draft structure for a stream monitoring database.

Project Overview

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Pollution Control Agency (PCA) each collect similar information on streams in Minnesota such as water quality, fish species presence, or the quality of fish habitat. For example, DNR might sample stream fish to assess whether the agency’s management activities such as fishing regulations or stocking are creating good angling opportunities for the public, while PCA might sample fish to assess whether a stream meets regulatory standards for a healthy fish community. Even though the reasons for collecting information between agencies may differ, the information collected by each agency could help the other to better fulfill its mission without needing collect it themselves. However, at present the PCA has its own database for storing stream information, while DNR has no central location to store information. This project will develop a database that will store DNR stream data, and will use a format that facilitates sharing of stream information between the agencies. A further goal is to increase public access to information by eventually developing of a webpage similar to the DNR’s Lakefinder that will allow easy access to stream information from multiple agencies. Because each program often has different reasons or methods for collecting and information on streams, the project must account for each program’s needs while maintaining a structure where data can be shared. When complete, the new database and data sharing capability will allow for better access to available data on streams that will better inform stream and watershed management decisions by DNR, MPCA, other potential partners, and the public.

About the Issue

State agencies collect stream monitoring data for a variety of different purposes in carrying out their mission. However, monitoring data held by each program that could be used by others to better manage streams is located in multiple places that are not easily accessible from outside the agency or program that collected the data, making it difficult to know what data is available and how to access it. A common format and means for information sharing that serves multiple programs will help to ensure more efficient and effective use of stream data by making information readily available to more potential users.

Project Manager

Brian
Nerbonne
Minnesota Department of Natural Resrouces
500 Lafayette Road
Saint Paul
55155
651-259-5205