SCCWRP and its partners have begun developing a user-friendly, web-based tool to help managers rapidly evaluate the likely vs. unlikely causes of degraded biological condition in streams.
The web interface for the Rapid Screening Causal Assessment tool – which researchers began building in March – is designed to speed up the traditionally time-consuming process of analyzing stream bioassessment data to pinpoint which stressors are responsible for poor stream condition. It builds on previous work in the San Diego and Santa Ana River watersheds.
The screening tool will consider a wide range of potential stressors, including habitat degradation, eutrophication, elevated ionic concentration, altered water temperature and altered flows. Causal assessment analyses for individual stream sites will be presented on an interactive, visual dashboard. The project also will focus on developing protective tools to maintain the biological integrity of streams already in good health.
The screening tool is initially being built for application in the San Gabriel River watershed, with the goal to eventually scale it up for use statewide.
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