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
Start Date:July 2011
Activity Type:Digitization/Online Information Access
Project OverviewThe 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.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resrouces
500 Lafayette Road