By Beth Knudsen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Interested in the ecological health of Minnesota’s watersheds? Use DNR’s new Watershed Assessment Tool, an interactive website designed to improve access to information about Minnesota's natural resources and the ecological health of our watersheds: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/watershed_tool/promo.html
Five components are used to describe the similarities and differences between watersheds:
The tool has two distinct and equally important parts:
Explanatory Text: Text is incorporated throughout the website to explain important concepts. Understanding these concepts and the connections between the five components is essential for comprehensive assessment of watershed health.
Online mapping interface: The Watershed Assessment Map displays, summarizes and compares 40 GIS natural resource data layers by major watershed boundary. Spatial distribution and summary tables are used to describe the status of resource features for each component within a selected watershed.
MapBooks: Also find downloadable pdf MapBooks for each major watershed and each component.
By streamlining access to a variety of GIS layers, important data becomes more accessible to resource managers from all disciplines. Used together, the map and the text will lead to a better understanding of the components, their connection to each other and the complexity of interactions to consider prior to making resource management decisions.
Comments or questions can be directed to Beth Knudsen with DNR’s Ecological Resources, Stream Habitat Program: firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-345-3332 ext 228.