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The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is part of a Technical Advisory Committee that developed the Watershed Resources Registry (the Registry), an online GIS tool that helps identify the best opportunities to protect, restore and conserve high quality resources and improve stormwater management.  The tool scores locations on a scale of one to five stars based on a variety of features that would be beneficial for restoration and/or preservation. Local, State and Federal agencies as well as other stakeholders, including the public, can use the interactive features to produce site maps and other products that help characterize and prioritize sites according to their project needs. Potential uses include, but are not limited to: regulatory mitigation, restoration, enhancement, incorporation/consideration, avoidance and preservation.

The Technical Advisory Committee represents a partnership between 12 agencies, whose contributions promote collaboration between environmental resource and regulatory programs through the Registry. All sites are scored by this committee, which represents the same agencies that review projects and provide permits and/or environmental approvals. In a sense, using this application puts us all on the same page before we start coordinating at the project level.

The map below shows the output from the riparian preservation analysis model.  The deep red color represents the opportunity that would likely provide the most multi-resource benefits; in other words, “the most bang for your buck!”

In addition to viewing the analysis model outputs, the tool allows for viewing other data and site comparison so that you can target the best opportunity to meet your needs while taking full advantage of other watershed benefits at any given location.  The Registry is used to find mitigation sites for MDOT SHA planning studies and projects. MDOT SHA also uses the Registry to identify sites that support the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load efforts.

For additional information, please visit the Watershed Resources Registry page on the AASHTO Innovation Initiative website.