Harbor Alert

HarborAlert.org helps residents in Baltimore city better understand how their local water quality stacks up against State and Federal standards for ecological and human health. Working with Blue Water Baltimore and Viable Industries, our team compiled over 1200 readings of volunteer monitoring data for parameters that include nitrogen, phosphorus, and fecal coliform. As part of this project we also delivered a custom cloud based content management system that makes it easy for Blue Water Baltimore staff edit existing readings and upload new sampling data. The system’s API makes the data open and extensible for use in a variety of other applications and systems

Since the platform’s launch, Harbor Alert is now a central component of Blue Water Baltimore and the Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative. Under this work, David Flores, the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper, routinely monitors the Tidal Patapsco, Jones Falls and Gwynns Falls watersheds to provide a constant pulse on the overall health of Baltimore’s major waterways. The Ambient Water Quality Monitoring Program samples 22 locations on the Tidal Patapsco River biweekly between the beginning of April and the end of November each year, and also samples 27 locations on the Jones Falls and Gwynns Falls on a monthly basis year-round. Monitoring activities include collection of whole-water samples for third-party laboratory analysis and collection of data readings using the latest field instrumentation technology. The data collected as a result of the Healthy Harbor Initiative is used to generate the annual Healthy Harbor Report Card, and to produce water-quality assessments for scenarios ranging from short-term pollution incidents to long-term multi-year trend analyses.

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