The Watershed Resources Registry (WRR) is a transferrable framework that any state could benefit from. If you're considering a WRR in your state, here are some thoughts to get you started.
A WRR consists of three essential components: collaboration, GIS-based analyses, and an interactive mapping application for sharing the results.
Collaboration includes primarily federal and state partners, particularly those that are charged with implementing Sections of the Clean Water Act (CWA). For example, the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) provides oversight for preventing and minimizing impacts to some of the nation's waters and wetlands through Section 404 of the CWA. The Corps shares this responsibility with state agencies, which have developed their own resource protection mechanisms. Additionally, the tool allows for collaboration among federal, state, and local governments, along with non-profit organizations, for the protection of natural resources.
GIS-based spatial analyses form the core of a WRR. The WRR spatial analyses find and score potential restoration and preservation areas by summing up the desirable qualities found in a given location. What is defined as "desirable" will vary from state to state, depending on each state’s priorities. Setting these priorities is the job of a technical advisory committee that is part of each WRR collaboration.
Lastly, the WRR spatial analyses can be shared with the public through interactive web mapping.
If you're just starting out, you might proceed as follows.
Once a state has an active WRR, the process becomes more iterative. The spatial analyses might be updated as new land cover datasets become available. New techniques for performing spatial analyses might be evaluated. New web mapping technologies come online. At any time, a state's WRR team might be focusing on analysis, education, training, improving the web site, updating the analyses, or all of these.
For more information, contact Ralph Spagnolo at Spagnolo.Ralph@epa.gov or (215)814-2718.