HARC Receives $350,000 to Fund New Online Regional Monitoring Database

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The online interactive portal will provide quality assured data on Galveston Bay and the surrounding Houston-Galveston region.

Houston, TX (March 29, 2021) – Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) announces funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Galveston Bay Estuary Program (GBEP) to create the Galveston Bay Regional Monitoring Database (RMD) in support of The Galveston Bay Plan, 2nd Edition (GBP, 2nd Edition). This project will develop, launch, and maintain the RMD as an interactive web-based portal providing quality assured data related to the conservation and management of Galveston Bay. In addition, the RMD will allow users to view, explore, and download data. The RMD will be released in three successive phases with the full portal scheduled to be completed in 2023.

In 2018, the GBP, 2nd Edition, in support of the Regional Monitoring Plan, identified the goal of developing a regional database to combine efforts of multiple research entities and provide a user-friendly resource for stakeholders and the public to view and access data that is collected.  HARC will gather environmental datasets related to the lower Galveston Bay watershed in cooperation with federal, state, and local governments; universities; and research organizations.

“This is an important project related to conservation efforts in the Galveston Bay Region,” states Ryan Bare, Research Scientist, Watershed Ecology for HARC. “As a tool to enhance research efforts, the Regional Monitoring Database will compile cross-disciplinary data and develop supporting interactive applications to enhance management of information pertaining to the Galveston Bay estuary. Ultimately, the Regional Monitoring Database will establish a tremendous online community resource building upon data that is collected by multiple organizations.”

Datasets included in the RMD will be informed by ecosystem indicators which are measures identified to gauge the environmental health and well-being of Galveston Bay. Examples include data describing water and sediment quality, coastal fisheries and bird populations, the suitability of waterways for recreational activities, and key habitats including wetland, forest, and prairie environments.

The RMD will assist in evaluating whether the goals and objectives of the GBP, 2nd Edition are being met, inform future State of the Bay Reports by GBEP, and provide the public access to data related to management and research within the lower Galveston Bay watershed.

This project is funded with a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Galveston Bay Estuary Program.

About HARC
HARC is a nonprofit research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers. Its research activities support the implementation of policies and technologies that promote sustainability based on scientific principles. HARC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization building a sustainable future in which people thrive and nature flourishes. For further information, contact HARC at (281) 364-6000 or visit www.HARCresearch.org. Connect with HARC, via InstagramLinkedInFacebook or Twitter. Like or follow @HARCresearch.

About GBEP
Established in 1989, GBEP is a nationally recognized, non-regulatory program of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The program is charged with implementing The Galveston Bay Plan — the comprehensive conservation and management plan for Galveston Bay.