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“Report Card” to Assess Current Conditions, Ecological Health of Natural Resources in Tennessee River Basin

The Appalachian LCC is supporting researchers from the University of Maryland in developing an assessment of ecological health, or a “Report Card”, for the Tennessee River Basin.
“Report Card” to Assess Current Conditions, Ecological Health of Natural Resources in Tennessee River Basin

The University of Maryland’s Integration and Application Network has produced several other similar products for the Chesapeake Bay Program and South Atlantic LCC.

The Report Card will provide a vital baseline on the current conditions of important natural resources and contain colorful illustrations, graphics, and meaningful measurements. Key natural resource indicators, such as water quality, will be identified and prescribed a grade (A-F) based on an assessment of ecological health. The product will be a helpful outreach tool for partners in the region as well as a technical resource for conservation planning and prioritization. It is anticipated to be used as a companion to the Appalachian LCC NatureScape Conservation Design, with future trends analysis of major stressors and landscape-level corridors to facilitate conservation objectives.

Researchers from the University of Maryland’s Integration and Application Network will work with the Cooperative partnership to initiate a series of webinars to introduce the process and scope of this initiative with key stakeholders and technical experts. Participants in these webinars will help identify existing relevant datasets and target key values and major threats in the region. Researchers will then propose indicators and metrics for the report card, solicit suggestions for modifying indicators and metrics, and seek additional data that would be helpful for the analysis.

Initial presentations on the Tennessee River Basin Report Card was first shared with our LCC community on July 7 and an initial draft will be shared at the Tennessee River Basin Network’s annual meeting in August, so each body can have the opportunity to engage with researchers and better understand the goals, process, and data used to create the final deliverable. The University of Maryland’s Integration and Application Network has produced several other similar products for the Chesapeake Bay Program and South Atlantic LCC.

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