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Part of the Team Keeping the Chesapeake Bay Clean

Blog Insights - GeoDecisions BMP Warehouse - Gannett Fleming.
Author: Tina Scheibe, Business Analyst

GeoDecisions, the geospatial technology division of Gannett Fleming, is part of an extensive team of agencies, contractors, companies, and volunteers helping to keep the Chesapeake Bay safe and clean for a lot more than just some fun in the sun. The Bay has nearly 17 million people living near it; more than 3,600 species of animals and plants; areas of land, including parts of six states and the District of Columbia, that drain into the bay; an economic impact of $33 billion per year; and two of the five major shipping ports in the North Atlantic.

The Process

Every two years, the Water Quality Assessment group within the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) assesses Virginia's waters against established standards. Based on the assessment, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) are determined. TMDLs establish the maximum amount of a pollutant that can enter a waterbody before it becomes affected. Once a TMDL is set, an implementation plan is put in place to reach the TMDL using Best Management Practices (BMPs). BMPs are conservation and technological practices implemented to reduce the amounts of nutrients and sediment entering local waters and the tidal Chesapeake Bay. Tracking BMP implementation is key to reaching the established TMDLs and ultimately to meeting water quality standards.

BMP Warehouse and Reporting

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and VADEQ, GeoDecisions developed a BMP Collection & Upload application (BMP Warehouse) which is used by each agency to collect BMP data from federal, state, and local agencies and organizations. The BMP Warehouse took an antiquated, spreadsheet-heavy, manual process and automated it.

The Warehouse performs data validation and transformation – translation of data terms and codes to the approved Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) language. Batching of the required data for submission to CBP is completed using the Warehouse. These data are then included in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model which estimates the amounts of nutrients and sediment reaching the Bay and where these pollutants originate.

At the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), we developed and maintain the Conservation Application Suite – used to track the entire BMP lifecycle, including planning and funding information. Data from this system is also submitted to the BMP Warehouse to be shared with CBP.

We are proud to be part of the team that is helping keep the Chesapeake Bay safe.

Contact Tina Scheibe at info@geodecisions.com for a demo of the BMP Warehouse or Conservation Application Suite.

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