Florida’s water monitoring agencies and entities have long recognized the need for a centralized searchable website to provide the “who, what, when, where, and why” of water resource monitoring. As a result, the FWRMC formed a workgroup to evaluate options and coordinate development of a “Catalog of Florida Monitoring Programs” (Catalog) to meet this need.
From late 2011 through spring 2012, the Catalog Workgroup evaluated 20 existing online monitoring atlases, catalogs and portals to identify desirable features and locate an existing website onto which the Catalog could potentially piggyback. Eventually, the workgroup selected the University of South Florida’s (USF) Water Institute to create and maintain the Catalog, also known as the Water-CAT.
The Water-CAT, released in May 2014, is an interactive, searchable, web-enabled database of state, federal, local, private sector and volunteer organizations that monitor water resources in Florida. It currently contains metadata on over 1,300 active projects managed by over 100 organizations. The Water-CAT serves as the “first cut” in locating ongoing monitoring efforts for water resource managers, policy-makers and the public.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.