Monday, May 3, 2010

GLRI To Expand Great Lakes Watershed Database

May 3: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) has announced that NOAA's existing Great Lakes Query Manager database is being expanded under the GLRI to help expedite the development, implementation, and monitoring of sediment cleanup and restoration projects throughout the Great Lakes.  According to a GLRI posting, historically, data available at any given project site have been from various agencies and programs that have kept data in different formats. This has often resulted in substantial time being expended to compile, analyze, and interpret the data. To address this problem, the GLRI expansion of the Great Lakes Watershed Environmental Database will incorporate additional environmental sediment chemistry, biota contaminant-residue chemistry, and environmental contaminant toxicity data from all Great Lakes States and federal partners. The database will serve as a centralized repository for all Great Lakes Basin environmental contaminant-related data. 
    GLRI indicates that having data in one compiled, standardized form will decrease the time necessary to interpret the data, thereby, helping to speed cleanup and restoration. All agencies will benefit through increased volume and accessibility of the data as well as the technical input provided by the coordinating agencies. Establishing a more comprehensive Great Lakes Query Manager database will also provide partner agencies with a powerful outreach tool that can be used to share information with the public in an easy to use format. NOAA currently maintains Query Manager databases for several Great Lakes sub-watersheds and a Basin-wide Query Manager database for the NOAA National Status and Trends Mussel Watch data.

    Query Manager is a relational database that has been used in the cleanup and restoration of contaminated sediment sites throughout the coastal United States. It is routinely used throughout the Great Lakes in investigation and sample plan design, ecological risk assessment, cleanup level derivation, development and evaluation of remedial alternatives, development of mitigation strategies, sediment and soil remediation design–including time-critical removal actions, natural resource damage assessment (pathway evaluation, injury determination, and restoration project development and scaling), and long-term effectiveness monitoring programs and other management activities needed to cleanup and restore the Great Lakes ecosystem.

    Access the GLRI announcement and link to additional information about NOAA's Query Manager database application, or to obtain a copy of the desktop version (click here).