The California Aquatic Resources Inventory (CARI) is a Geographic Information System (GIS) dataset of wetlands, streams, and riparian areas consisting of polygon and line features that are standardized to a common wetland classification system. This statewide dataset is hosted online through http://www.EcoAtlas.org, a web-service specifically designed to provide wetland information, at variable landscape scales, to environmental scientists, managers and planners in support of the State’s Wetland and Riparian Area Protection Policy (WRAPP). CARI consists of 2 feature classes: Wetlands (polygons) and Streams (lines).
EcoAtlas supports the State’s monitoring and assessment framework described in the State’s Five Year Coordinated Work Plan for Wetlands Conservation Program Development (Rev. March 2014) and the Tenets of a State Wetland and Riparian Area Monitoring Plan (WRAMP). The WRAMP framework employs the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) recommended three level monitoring and assessment framework for wetlands of which the fist level includes characterizing the distribution and amount of wetlands in their landscape setting using a GIS. CARI is the statewide GIS dataset that supports the WRAPP. EcoAtlas aggregates statewide monitoring and assessment data to address the core management questions of “where are the wetlands and how are they doing?”
CARI was initiated in 2009 by the California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup (CWMW) with the goal of achieving an updateable, standardized, GIS dataset of aquatic resources in California that could be used by environmental managers, planners and the public to assess the distribution and amount of wetlands at variable landscape scales. EcoAtlas employs CARI to display the location of:
- wetland projects (with links to detailed project information),
- rapid ecological condition assessments (based on the California Rapid Assessment Method [CRAM]), and
- to summarize the diversity and amount of wetlands within a user defined area through the Landscape Profile tool.