Portland Harbor Watershed Database & Mapping Project Web Portal
Protection and restoration of coastal watersheds requires the synthesis of complex environmental issues. The evaluation of multiple environmental issues can be significantly improved by combining scientific data and watershed characteristics into a Geographic Information System (GIS). NOAA has developed a decision-support tool for the Portland Harbor project that combines the use of a standard database structure; data query software and a database-mapping application (Query Manager/MARPLOT; and an ArcView GIS project. Contaminant concentrations in sediment and tissues of aquatic organisms, results of sediment toxicity tests, natural resource occurrence, and potential habitat restoration projects are overlaid on a watershed's features and land uses, to be analyzed and displayed on maps at flexible spatial scales. This integrated approach simplifies data synthesis and communication of critical information. NOAA has used this approach in several watersheds, which have been affected by contaminant releases from Superfund sites and other sources.