Effort underway to clean up, standardize historical Bight monitoring data

Posted July 28, 2017

SCCWRP and its member agencies have initiated a project to clean up and standardize decades of data they’ve collected from across the Southern California Bight during routine environmental monitoring.

The goal is to get all of the data into electronic databases that are consistent and comparable among agencies, so researchers can begin mining the data as part of historical analysis studies seeking to understand changing environmental conditions in the Bight over time.

SCCWRP’s member agencies have agreed to focus initially on the most recent two decades of data, all of which already are in electronic form and dovetail with the initiation of Bight regional monitoring in 1994.

The project was conceived as SCCWRP worked with the SCCWRP Commission and CTAG to write a 40-year retrospective on the 1971 passage of the federal Clean Water Act.

Member agencies and SCCWRP have agreed that clear and detailed metadata information should be provided with the data sets to avoid interpretation errors and confusion. Also, the originating agency should be notified about which data are being requested and by whom.

Depending on the outcomes of this initial phase of data capture, member agencies will consider expanding the effort as far back as the early 1970s. Member agencies and SCCWRP will weigh the quality and reliability of these data sets, method and detection limits, and the cost of digitizing and standardizing older data.

More news related to: Regional Monitoring, Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program