The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in cooperation with NatureServe has become the first agency in the nation to exchange biodiversity data using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Central Data Exchange. The state agency was awarded an EPA Exchange Network grant to create Internet-based applications for field biologists that allow them to enter species data along with mapping capabilities from any field computer.
“These innovative Exchange Network grant projects continue to generate invaluable data to EPA, states, and local communities, while providing the latest technology to our field scientists,” said Josie Lopez, EPA’s Exchange Network Coordinator in Denver.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is the state’s primary agency for collecting, maintaining, and evaluating sensitive species occurrences, and natural resources information. NatureServe is a leading source for information about rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems.
EPA’s Exchange Network Program is an Internet-based system used by states, tribes, and territorial partners to securely share environmental and health information with partners and the public. The Exchange Network improves the timeliness and accuracy of environmental data analysis, reduces the burden and costs associated with reporting large quantities of data, and enhances data access. It also supports timely decisions on environmental and health issues critical during emergency response situations.
Since 2002, EPA has provided national grant funding to states, tribes and territories for proposals that result in exchanging various environmental data. More information about EPA’s Exchange Network program and the annual solicitation notices can be found at http://www.epa.gov/exchangenetwork/grants/index.html