Environmental health requires monitoring streams and waterways to assess biological integrity and water quality. Aquatic macroinvertebrates are strong indicators of stream habitat health and can be used in habitat assessment. The Macroinvertebrate Water Monitoring Map shows the sites where macroinvertebrates are collected throughout Pennsylvania’s streams by the Department of Environmental Protection and other organizations, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Using the Macroinvertebrate Map
Macroinvertebrate collection events are organized by sampling sites, each of which is located on a stream from the National Hydrography Dataset. Each site has at least one collection event, but some sites may have more. Due to the large number of sites, individual sampling locations are clustered. After panning and zooming to find your area of interest, click one of the blue clusters to reveal survey sites in that area, which appear as yellow dots. Click on a yellow dot will allow you to view a list of macroinvertebrate specimens collected within that event, typically identified to the genus level. For sites where there is more than one sampling event, the date at the top left of the results panel will turn into a drop-down menu with available dates.
Each specimen contains a hyperlink for additional information on that organism. For a subset of these specimens, hovering over the name will bring up a thumbnail of the organism. Clicking on those species will take the user to Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Digital Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Collection. All other species will link to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) record for that organism.
Stay tuned for Updates!
The GIS Lab is currently working on developing a query tool to identify sites or collections within the database that meet search criteria.