You are here: Home / News & Events / All News Items / Permanent database grows for temporary wetlands

Permanent database grows for temporary wetlands

The Vernal Pool Data Cooperative has constructed a secure spatial database to store vernal pool locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Now in order to ensure that the database serves as a comprehensive resource, the team is calling for data submissions from cooperators across the region.

Small, temporary bodies of water that provide habitat for amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates, vernal pools are vulnerable by nature. Their seasonal lifespans also makes them elusive. The first step to protecting these critical wetlands is to pinpoint where they are in the landscape.

That's the mission of the Vernal Pool Data Cooperative, a North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative funded project that is creating a comprehensive spatial database of vernal pool locations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions with input from practitioners in the field.

Now Project lead Steve Faccio of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies said they are ready to accept data submissions to fill out the regional picture.

With the completion of two workshops targeting environmental consultants, planners, biologists and researchers who are involved in vernal pool conservation, the Cooperative has had an opportunity to showcase the tool and hear input from those who can use the data.

“Both workshops involved a fair amount of conversation, listening and learning about what participants would find most useful,” said Dan Lambert of High Branch Conservation Services, one of the project facilitators.

Following a workshop held in May in Springfield, Mass., the Vernal Pool Data Cooperative led a fall workshop in Smyrna, Del., for audiences in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“For the most part, it was about trust building and communication to inform folks about the security measures in place for the data, and the services available to them.”

The data will be available through the North Atlantic LCC’s Conservation Planning Atlas, but the project organizers asked participants for feedback related to decisions about access, outputs, resolution, and defining terms.

“We view this as a springboard, not so much a finished product: A living tool that can be updated and applied,” said Lambert.

Faccio said he hopes the open dialogue at the workshops will increase willingness to participate among key audiences.

“We have seen a fair amount of support,” he said. “Most people understand the value of a regional data set.

Lambert said the support is manifest in the diversity of the attendees. "We had a good mix of state and federal agencies, county level park people, and some NGO representatives and academic researchers in both workshops." But he added they are still looking to increase participation across the board. “A synthesis of vernal pool location data will be more useful the more data we are able to recruit.”

Faccio is currently in the process of soliciting data from a list of nearly 80 potential cooperators from Virginia to the Maritime Provinces. “Once these data  are compiled into a single database,” says Faccio, “they will not only provide a more complete regional picture of where vernal pools occur, but also point out data gaps where more on-the-ground or remote sensing work is needed.”

For details on submitting data, please contact Steve Faccio:


Document Actions