The Arundel Rivers Federation (created on January 2, 2019; the result of the consolidation of South River Federation and West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Inc.), in Annapolis, Maryland, and a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, was looking for a way to simplify their water monitoring data results for sharing with the general public. They did not have specific GIS capability on staff, and sought out the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center to assist with building a web app that could meet their needs.
They hoped to convey a few main concepts through displaying their data:
- Pollution in the river comes from the local land
- It’s not safe to swim after it rains
- The rivers are fishable, but often do not have enough dissolved oxygen to maintain aquatic life
- The Arundel Rivers Federation was working to fix the problems!
By instituting a green – yellow – red (good – adequate – poor) color-coded data reporting scheme, the Federation and Conservancy simplified the understanding of water quality data, so anyone could look and understand the most-current, and historical water conditions.
This web app, in conjunction with social media, serves as a valuable communication tool for the local community to become more informed about water quality conditions, AND it demonstrates where the Federation is spending their money, so it can be used as a tool to drive fundraising. They are monitoring the problems in the water, and implementing the solutions through restoration projects on the land. In considering something similar to this effective model, community monitoring organizations will be able to drive interest, awareness, and change in the communities they serve. Indeed, their web app has been admired by folks around the US, and even internationally, as seen below in their web traffic!
Questions about Arundel Rivers Federation and its monitoring program may be directed to Nancy Merrill Sullivan, Volunteer and Outreach Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions about the technical details of web app itself may be directed to Emily Wiggans, GIS Analyst, at the Chesapeake Conservancy, email@example.com.