Blog posts categorized by Environmental Report Cards
The same data can show a very different picture depending on which rating is 'on top'.

How maps can lie: Chesapeake watershed stream health

Bill Dennison ·
14 July 2010
Environmental Report Cards | 

In order to create a map of stream health in the Chesapeake watershed, Katie Foreman, Scott Phillips, Claire Buchanan and colleagues in the Non Tidal Workgroup of the Chesapeake Bay Program generated a data set of benthic macroinvertebrate condition using data collected by state agencies in the Chesapeake watershed. The original map created by Katie and her team in 2009 had approximately 3,200 data points, distributed throughout the watershed.

Read more

Coastal Stewards unveiling the report card.

Coastal Bays report card release

Bill Dennison ·
2 July 2010
Environmental Report Cards | 

The Maryland Coastal Bays Program report card was released at an interesting venue in Ocean City in late afternoon, June 30. Macky's Barside & Grill on 54th Street in Ocean City provided a bayside venue for the release with perfect weather. Jet skis and motorboats were buzzing in and out of the canal, a roosting colony of laughing gulls in the marsh and the babble of dinner guests eating in the sandy beach provided a lively backdrop to the proceedings.

Read more

Grahame Byron from Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet opening the Paddock to Reef workshop in Brisbane, Australia.

Great Barrier Reef report card workshop

Bill Dennison ·
15 June 2010
Environmental Report Cards | 

On May 25-26, a workshop was convened in Brisbane, Australia to develop a strategy to create a 'paddock to reef' environmental report card for the Great Barrier Reef. The Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet organized the workshop and IAN staff served as facilitators, Bill Dennison, Heath Kelsey and Jane Thomas.

Read more

Governor O'Malley speaking at the report card release.

Chesapeake Bay report card release

Bill Dennison ·
2 June 2010
Environmental Report Cards | 

The 2009 Chesapeake Bay report card release was held at Gunpowder Falls State Park in Baltimore City on May 18. It was a cold rainy day, and the intrepid folks who braved the weather huddled under a pavilion waiting for Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. This is the first time that the Chesapeake Bay report card produced by the EcoCheck team, a partnership program between NOAA and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), was released with elected officials.

Read more

The resurgence of aquatic grasses in the Upper Bay results in the positive feedbacks to water quality.

Chesapeake Bay restoration: Are we headed in the right direction?

Bill Dennison ·
3 May 2010
Environmental Report Cards | 

The Chesapeake Bay Program has a long history of setting goals, and unfortunately an equally long history of NOT reaching these goals. The initial Chesapeake Bay Program goal, set in 1984, was for a 40% reduction in nutrient loads entering the Bay, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus. In spite of considerable investments in various nutrient reduction activities, this original goal has not been met, yet a variety of new goals have superseded these original goals.

Read more

Example of thresholds used for chlorophyll a indicator from the EcoCheck web site

Environmental report card grading system

Bill Dennison ·
6 April 2010
Environmental Report Cards | 

The grading system used in the EcoCheck environmental report cards is a simple, systematic ranking scale. The one hundred point scale is divided into five equal categories; A (80-100), B (80-60), C (60-40), D (40-20) and F (20-0). Furthermore, the grades have a plus and minus scale, so that the upper 5 points of the 20 point range results in a plus score and the lower 5 points of the 20 point range results in a minus score.

Read more

IAN has produced several tributary report cards based on citizen science monitoring programs.

Citizen Science Programs

Bill Dennison ·
25 February 2010
Environmental Report Cards | 

Environmental monitoring is extremely expensive with recurring costs. In addition to supporting a field effort, the analytical costs of processing samples and the data entry, quality assurance and analyses incurs costs. Even if the labor intensive field sampling is reduced through remote sensors and automated sampling, the task of processing the data is not diminished.

Read more

Chester River

Water quality monitoring with the Chester River Association

Jane Thomas ·
13 July 2009
Environmental Report Cards | 

Last Wednesday, IAN went out with the Chester River Association on one of their weekly water quality monitoring trips on the Chester River. You know what they say - a bad day in the field is better than a good day in the office. And this was a great day in the field! Chester River … The Chester River Association measures a suite of water quality parameters (dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, etc.) at a range of sites both upstream and downstream from Chestertown.

Read more