Recovery Action Mapping Tool

NOAA Fisheries developed the Recovery Action Mapping Tool to track the implementation of recovery actions for species listed under the Endangered Species Act. It is a web application that provides the following functions:

  1. Maps actions in a Geographic Information System (GIS);
  2. Tracks action implementation;
  3. Fulfills NOAA Fisheries' reporting requirements, specifically related to the Government Performance and Results Act; and
  4. Enables the public and stakeholders to access real-time action data via an interactive web tool.

Each recovery plan identifies specific actions needed to recover endangered and/or threatened species. These actions, developed by NOAA Fisheries and its partners, are standardized, mapped, and compiled into a spatial database. The web application enables users to interactively visualize data from the action spatial database in a map viewer. It is designed to be a simple user interface with limited data layers. Spatial information added to the basemap includes two fish-related datasets—recovery domains and recovery actions. It also includes two hydrologic datasets—watersheds and rivers.

Users can filter actions geographically by selecting locations from drop-down lists located at the top of the map viewer or by clicking on map features. They can also filter actions by clicking on elements in the user-friendly table. Whether filtered geographically or tabularly, actions are exported with one click. To view information for a single action, users can click on a single row in the table. This will provide the action’s detail page. Other features include editing capabilities for defined users with login access, five different basemaps for enhanced visualization, and elements to aid map navigation.

Technical Information

The application is hosted by Northwest Fisheries Science Center servers and maintained by the Operations, Management, and Information Division. Supported browsers include Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. However, the application works best in the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Action locations were mapped in a GIS using ArcMap (10.0) and the following information:

NOAA Fisheries staff will enter new actions, as recovery plans are finalized, and map them in the editing window. The editing window enables actions to be mapped to points or Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC), as described in the method below. The location of an action that is already stored in the spatial database can also be updated in the editing window.

Actions are mapped to points or HUC polygons according to the location descriptions in recovery plans. A single action can be mapped to one point, multiple points, one HUC, or multiple HUCs. However, a single action cannot be mapped to a combination of points and polygons. Furthermore, an action can only be mapped to one level of HUC in the Watershed Boundary Dataset hierarchy. The hierarchy levels are sub-basins (8 digit code), watersheds (10 digit code), and sub-watersheds (12 digit code). By mapping actions to one level in the Watershed Boundary Dataset, it is possible to manipulate the hierarchy of codes and calculate the total number of actions in each HUC polygon at any level. The total number of actions in a given HUC is denoted as a symbol located at the HUC’s centroid; this total number includes any actions mapped to points which lie within the boundary of that polygon.

For More Information

Scott Rumsey, NOAA Fisheries Northwest Region


Phone: 503.872.2791