Florida Water Atlas Features New Web Sites

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2008) – The Florida Center for Community Design and Research at the University of South Florida (USF-FCCDR) announces the launch of three new Water Atlas Web sites and the new Florida Atlas of Lakes Web site. These sites join a suite of 11 Water Atlas Web sites that provide citizens and scientists alike with information on water resources, all available at http://www.wateratlas.usf.edu.

The new Water Atlas sites cover the City of Tampa-Hillsborough County as well as Tallahassee-Leon County and Volusia County. Contributors to the sites include agencies, governments and private citizens.

According to Web Content Manager Jodi B. Pracht, there’s something for everyone:

• Recreational users can find information on location, size and depth, water quality, suitability for recreation, location of parks, beaches, piers and ramps, and even fishing reports.

• Scientists can access over 225 datasets complete with data for chemical, physical and biological parameters.

• Agencies can use the Water Atlas to comply with federal and state storm water regulations.

• Water resource managers can create water quality reports and maps to answer questions about the condition of the resources.

• Teachers can use the curriculum component for Sunshine Standard class exercises.

• Volunteers can upload workday and wildlife reports, and learn how and where they can participate in shoreline restorations, lake cleanups, and water quality monitoring.

“Water is something we can never take for granted anywhere and especially not here in Florida,” said Pracht. “These sites are user-friendly and can help everyone stay informed, connected and involved in protecting this vital resource.

“Our sites are the only ones of their kind in Florida. Nationally, you could find similar types of water resource sites, but none that combine both the breadth of scope and level of detail, such as the field measures of Biological Oxygen Demand, in one site. We truly strive to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for any question someone could imagine on a Florida water resource,” Pracht said.

The Florida Center for Community Design and Research is actively seeking new partners to expand its services to additional Florida counties. To find out about opportunities to become a Water Atlas Partner call (813) 974-9524 or e-mail Pracht@arch.usf.edu.

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

 – USF –