FieldDoc Expands to Support the Delaware River Watershed Initiative

Working in partnership with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Commons has successfully deployed the FieldDoc Platform for live tracking of all Phase II restoration and protection projects associated with the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI). Funded by the William Penn Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Open Space Institute, the DRWI unites more than fifty organizations and countless home and landowners working to protect forests and farms, restore water quality, and green the watershed’s cities and suburbs.

Through the implementation of innovative restoration practices and land protection, the DRWI is collectively focused on addressing three key stressors that threaten the health of waterways, and safety of drinking water:

  • Loss of Forested Headwaters
  • Agriculture Runoff
  • Stormwater
  • Depletion of Groundwater

In an effort to measure the impact of investment as well as quantify progress toward protection and restoration goals, our team deployed FieldDoc project tracking within each grant program of the DRWI and extended the system to support configuration of live dashboards that can be dropped into nearly any web property. Academy of Natural Sciences and William Penn Foundation used FieldDoc to stand up the DRWI Dashboard which is now the authoritative tracking system for demonstrating progress toward 56 water quality improvement metrics, telling the success story of the broader initiative.

The Delaware River Watershed Dashboard, tracking metrics across 50 projects throughout the 4 state river basin

The DRWI Dashboard allows its users the ability to explore up-to-the-minute progress at nearly any scale. Clicking on a focal area or cluster will ensure that only metric targets and progress relevant to those geographies display in the left hand side of the application. Users can drill down to a project scale where they can view exactly what proportion of work is going toward accomplishment of initiative goals.

Project scale showing project metric contribution and its associated parcels where work is planned or completed.

Where the DRWI Dashboard takes project visualization and accounting a step further, is in its ability to track restoration or protection down to a practice scale. After clicking on a project pin, the DRWI Dashboard will reveal all parcels where work has occurred within the scope of a grant funded project.

Parcel scale showing associated metrics and progress for the specific portion of the project.

Going even deeper, clicking a project parcel will reveal all of the management practices, easements, or acquisitions as well as relevant metric targets and progress related to the selected site. Our development team has also taken the time to develop an array of helpful privacy features that ensure land owner parcels and practices stay off the map when they need to.

Specific management practice, associated metrics, and progress

These analytics are all made possible thanks to FieldDoc’s data management and structuring engine that is growing to support a number of grant programs up and down the east coast. For example, as grant recipients of Open Space Institute, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and William Penn Foundation implement their project specific work, they report through FieldDoc and updates are automatically pushed to the DRWI Dashboard. The end result is a geo-spatially rich data pipeline that can be used to certify where work has occurred resulting from project level investments.

Geography manager allowing users to upload, manage, and track progress toward explicit metric targets in an area of interest

Strategically, our organization believes that this is the future of how restoration and protection projects should be quantified and accounted for. By building living, dynamic data sources that are capable of updating as the management practice is installed, we can create a more accurate picture of how our actions are improving water quality. Further, accounting for restoration and protection projects at the sub parcel scale, allows the movement to create a culture around proof of work and verification that is contributed and maintained by project leads and partners.

Looking ahead, the Commons will continue the expansion of FieldDoc to other initiatives, programs, and sectors through a number of continual releases that relate directly to our mission and product roadmap. We’re elated to see the platform supporting and providing value to the DRWI and can’t wait to share what is queued up next.

Have a questions or a program that could likely be supported with FieldDoc? Reach out to us directly at info@chesapeakecommons.org