The NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program has created a Stream Condition Index (SCI) to identify high quality streams in the Hudson River Estuary watershed. The SCI is a unique dataset that can aid in conserving high quality waterbodies.
With help from NYSDEC Division of Water, New York State Water Resources Institute and New York Natural Heritage Program, the SCI tallies eight individual metrics for each stream reach in the Hudson River Estuary watershed and combines them into a condition between low and highest quality. Data on natural cover, agricultural cover, impervious cover, brook trout habitat, hydrologic alteration, aquatic habitat connectedness, stream biological assessment profile, and geomorphological constraint are given independently and combined into one Index for ~40,000 stream reaches. The SCI compliments existing datasets, including New York State’s Waterbody Inventory, by identifying high-quality streams and providing fine-scale, quantitative information that can be tracked into the future.
The Hudson Valley Natural Resource Mapper (http://hudson.dnr.cals.cornell.edu/mapper/) displays the SCI under the Streams tab, as well as many other datasets helpful to understanding a region of interest and the watershed and habitats that are affecting it. If you’re interested in obtaining the data or have questions about the project, please contact Andrew Meyer (Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org).
Watershed Outreach Specialist, Hudson River Estuary Program & NYS Water Resources Institute