The EcoAtlas suite of tools represents a significant investment of time, energy, thought, scientific testing, technical innovation, and capital from a number of state and federal public agencies, grant programs, and NGOs over the course of its 17-year existence. The toolset embodies the scientific and programmatic investments of the California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup (CWMW), its many related state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private consultants, as well as the goals of the growing set of stakeholders who have expanded the circle of interested parties over the years. It is known by many names — “WRAMP” being most common — but in its essence it comprises the following tools:
● EcoAtlas map viewer
● Project Tracker
● The California Aquatic Resources Inventory (CARI) map and editor tool
● The California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM)
● The Riparian Zone Estimator Tool (RipZET)
Now highly capable, the toolset represents more than science and technology alone, but a distillation of both, customized to meet specific goals associated with the landscape-scale tracking and characterization of California’s aquatic resources. The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), for instance, has supported the toolset through multiple development grants so that the collected tools might be complementary to a still-nascent, statewide wetland protection program. Meanwhile, the state’s Coastal and Delta Conservancies require the use of the tool, and regional water boards — including SF Bay, Lahontan, and North Coast — regularly employ the tool for mitigation and restoration project tracking. Essentially, EcoAtlas has proven critical to a variety of programs and represents a successful product of broad-based collaboration. However, it currently stands at a crossroads, and its stakeholders must direct the toolset’s future. The following plan is intended to ensure the continued vitality of the toolset. The plan’s success will depend upon the continued collaboration of the public agencies that have supported the toolset thus far, but it must also integrate principles of resilience as it accounts for the tensions that arise as organizations move in different strategic directions.