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Geospatial data supporting assessments of streamflow alteration to support bay and estuary restoration in the Gulf States

January 30, 2019

The state-of-the-science for implementing restoration of flows for freshwater and estuarine ecosystems health has improved markedly. Many successful examples now exist for improving the timing and delivery of freshwater flows through collaborative processes such as modification of flow regimes
through operational changes made through dam re-regulation, dam removal, conservation and efficiency, improved placement and operation of surface and groundwater withdrawals or green infrastructure.
Numerous federal, state and local partnerships have already identified such remedies as a high priority for ecosystem restoration1. However, these efforts can often be hampered by the lack of readily available data
on stream flows, available gages, and the historical changes in timing and delivery of flow over time, as well as the complex nature of the data and the models needed to interpret the data for decision-making.
To address this foundational science and accessibility gap and to facilitate economically and ecologically critical restoration projects, the USGS and the EPA conducted a comprehensive assessment of gages and streamflows for state and local decision-makers to facilitate restoration projects in all five Gulf States and begin a process to install new or restore decommissioned gages.