Setting a course for a sustainable landscape
The indicator testing and revision team is halfway though the process of revising the freshwater aquatic and waterscapes indicators. A few of these revisions are in pretty good shape and are ready for a broader set of folks to review:
1) Improved Riparian Buffer Indicator
This new layer is finer scale, uses updated landcover, and performed much better in testing. The previous indicator layer did a poor job of predicting benthic macroinvertebrate condition at 111 points throughout the LCC. This new version does much better. Look to see how well this indicator represents places you think have good (and bad) riparian buffers.
2) Continuous Permeable Surface Indicator
One big lesson from Blueprint 2.0 is that continuous indicator values work much better in prioritization than categories. This update to the permeable surface indicator makes the indicator continuous instead of simply three categories (>10%, 5-10%, <5%). This version performed better in predicting water quality at 2,951 points throughout the South Atlantic portion of North Carolina. The testing and revision team is also experimenting with other ways to stretch the values to particularly emphasize key ecological thresholds in impervious surface. Look to see how well this indicator represents areas you know are impaired by impervious surface.
3) Aquatic Diversity Hotspots (New Indicator)
This indicator seeks to capture key patterns of aquatic endemism throughout the LCC. It's performed well so far in expert evaluations and is not well covered by any of the other indicators. Look to see if this indicator misses key areas, or if you find places you think are ranked too highly.
Feel free to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give me a call (919-707-0122) with any comments or thoughts you have.