CHAMPAIGN – Tracking nutrient loads in Arkansas just
got easier. A new data portal was recently
launched on the Great Lakes to Gulf (GLTG) Virtual Observatory that showcases
Arkansas water quality trends with a focus on nitrogen and phosphorus loads. The
GLTG Virtual Observatory Arkansas data portal is available at https://arkansas.greatlakestogulf.org/#/and joins the existing Illinois portal available at https://illinois.greatlakestogulf.org/.
The GLTG Virtual Observatory is a
partnership between the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center and the University of Illinois National Center
for Supercomputing Applications, with funding
from the Walton Family Foundation. The GLTG
platform is an interactive
geospatial application that provides user-friendly access to water quality data
in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin.
The Arkansas Nutrient Reduction
Strategy was developed in response to federal initiatives to address the size
of the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone. In 2021, the Arkansas
Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division, in partnership with the
Arkansas Water Resources Center, conducted an analysis of water data collected
in all sub-basin level HUC-8 Arkansas watersheds. There are three data layers
available on the new Arkansas data portal: site-level trends analysis, aggregated
HUC-8 trends analysis, and water quality stations and data availability.
“The GLTG Virtual Observatory Arkansas data portal allows for
Arkansas's water quality data to be easily and quickly viewed,” said Katie
Mann, Ecologist Coordinator at the Natural Resources Division.
“Communicating scientific results to the public about nutrient reduction is
very important, and the data portal allows the public quick access to useful
The GLTG platform is unique because it includes over 44 million data
points and covers over 122,000 waterways spanning 13 states to create a
comprehensive model of nutrient loads entering the Mississippi river. The GLTG data visualizations can help
policy makers decide where to direct resources and target locations for
nutrient monitoring to provide the most cost-effective results in terms of
“Tracking nutrient trends within each
state, as well as in aggregate can be a key measure on how well each state is
doing in implementing their nutrient reduction strategies,” said Ellen Gilinsky, former EPA Co-Chair of the Hypoxia Task Force and
now a consultant on the GLTG project. “By making these trends available, the
public, state and federal managers can see how far along we are in addressing
nutrient pollution in this important waterbody.”
include having portals for each of the 12 Hypoxia Task Force states that either
link to their state websites or provide additional visualizations for the
public on the GLTG website.
For more information
contact Laura Kammin at email@example.com.
Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠)
2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to
the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center
aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related
to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and
their associated communities. To learn more about NGRREC, visit www.ngrrec.org.