About EcoAtlas

The California EcoAtlas provides free public access to information about the quantity and quality of California wetlands. EcoAtlas enables integration of information to provide landscape context for consideration of wetland extent and condition.

Tour EcoAtlas

We highlight for you some of the benefits and features of this exciting new tool during a brief, five-minute walk-through.


This EcoAtlas review walks you through some of the key services that the tool delivers. (Be sure to turn up your speakers!)


Content includes three categories of information as called for in California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup’s Tenets of a State Wetland and Riparian Monitoring Program (WRAMP). These three information categories are consistent with the USEPA’s Level 1‐2‐3 framework for monitoring and assessment of wetland resources.

Maps and spatial information

Interactive, detailed maps of aquatic resources extent (streams, wetlands, riparian areas, and special habitats such as eelgrass) are available as data layers. Existing aquatic resources based on California Aquatic Resource Inventory (CARI) are displayed as the default data layer on the interactive map.

EcoAtlas is tracking tool for restoration project activity and provides detailed information and boundaries for restoration projects around the State.

General wetland condition information

California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) ambient and project survey results, as well as reference network sites, are served through an interactive map. CRAM assessment details, including index, metric and attribute scores, visit dates, assessment area boundaries, and related documents are viewable and can be downloaded.

Specific condition information

EcoAtlas displays detailed condition data on water and sediment toxicity from various studies throughout the State. These data are provided by California Environmental Data Exchange Network (CEDEN) so users may view water quality data relevant to wetland condition.

Information about the data sources used on this site is available on the Data page.

Landscape Profile Tool

The Landscape Profile Tool summarizes ecological information at various spatial scales for assessment, planning, and reporting. We welcome you to review the latest enhancements to this tool in EcoAtlas. We hope that you are impressed with the results!

Based on the user-specified area of interest, the tool generates graphical summaries of the following data sources:

  • abundance and diversity of existing aquatic resources based on California Aquatic Resource Inventory (CARI);
  • abundance and diversity of historical aquatic resources and terrestrial plant communities;
  • survey and project summary statistics for eelgrass aquatic resources;
  • ecological restoration based on Wetland Projects;
  • aquatic resource condition based on California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM);
  • human population based on 2010 Census and language spoken at home based on the 2008-2012 American Community Survey;
  • species of special status (both federally and California listed species) based on California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB); and
  • developed land cover by the 2011 National Land Cover Database (NLCD).

Users have several options for determining their area of interest. These include using USGS StreamStats to delineate an upstream catchment from a pour point; drawing and editing a polygon through a series of map clicks; selecting a pre-defined area for a congressional district, county, or hydrologic region (HUC8, HUC10, HUC12); or uploading an existing KML or ESRI shapefile.

Users may view a Landscape Profile in a pop-up box or print a detailed PDF report that also includes background information on each of the data sources. The Print Map feature allows users to download a PDF and share a map view with accompanying notes to collaborators.

CARI Editor Tool

Bayshore footage copyright 2015, California Department of Transportation, all rights reserved.

The CARI Editor enables individuals to submit suggested updates, deletions or additions of stream and wetland features classified in the California Aquatic Resource Inventory (CARI). CARI serves as the common statewide map in EcoAtlas and was developed using the best available data sources, including several different map intensification efforts that standardized the level of detail for aquatic resources based on similar mapping protocols. It is important to have the mapped aquatic resources as accurate as possible, since amounts are summarized in various reports and the Landscape Profile Tool.

The CARI Editor accepts small scale edits at the feature level, such as an individual stream segment or polygon for a specific wetland type. To submit a shapefile that contains multiple features, please contact eigis@sfei.org for instructions. The process for incorporating suggested edits is still under development. An email notification is sent to acknowledge receipt of the request and suggestions are logged into a tracking system. However, the frequency of the review and processing of edits is dependent upon available resources.

For more information contact eigis@sfei.org.

Project Tracker

Habitat restoration activity is tracked on EcoAtlas. Projects are viewable on the interactive map and summarized in individual project pages. Project information is available for the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Central Coast, South Coast, and Lake Tahoe area. New projects can be uploaded using the Project Tracker data entry forms.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, project information is collected for all new 401 certified projects through the Wetland and Riparian Project Form. Submission of this form is a 401 permit condition of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Project Information Page (PIP)

Each PIP includes information on the project’s location, type (mitigation or non-mitigation), identification numbers, habitat plan, site status, restoration events, contacts, funding sources, and performance criteria. If available, related habitat impacts, historical habitats, and related CRAM assessments are also summarized.

Files & Links

EcoAtlas serves as a repository for files and web links. A project’s file library provides access to reports, data, photos, videos, and other files related to a project. Project managers and members of the public can submit reports and project-related files to share with others.

Project Maps

When available, project maps and site boundaries are displayed on EcoAtlas. In a few cases, information on a project’s size and general location is known, but a detailed boundary has not been provided. In such cases, the project is mapped as a dashed circle, centered on the project’s location, and with a size equal to the known project area. These dashed circle approximations provide EcoAtlas users a visual representation of a project’s size and location, and are replaced with an actual boundary when this information becomes available.

Habitat Development Curves

Habitat Development Curves (HDCs) are used to determine the developmental status and trajectory of on-the-ground projects to create, restore, or enhance California wetland and stream habitats. Each HDC is based on assessments of habitat condition for different age areas of one habitat type that in aggregate represent the full spectrum of habitat development. The assessments of condition are provided by applications of the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM). Reference condition is represented by areas of a habitat that consistently get very high CRAM scores, have not been subject to disruptive management practices, and exist within landscapes that are protected and managed for their natural conditions.

An HDC can be used to help address the following questions:

  • At what time in the future will the area of assessed habitat achieve the reference condition or other milestones in habitat development?
  • Is the area of assessed habitat likely to develop faster, slower, or at the same pace as most other areas of the same habitat type?
  • What can be done to improve the condition of the habitat area or to increase its rate of development?

The Habitat Development Curves tab is only available when there are related CRAM assessments associated with a project.


EcoAtlas has been developed through generous funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the California State Water Resources Control Board. The California Wetland Monitoring Workgroup (CWMW) provides oversight for the development of content and functionality of EcoAtlas. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southwest Region, Long Beach office of the Habitat Conservation Division provided funding for the inclusion of the eelgrass data. EcoAtlas was created and developed by the San Francisco Estuary Institute – Aquatic Science Center.


Please use following when citing EcoAtlas:

California Wetlands Monitoring Workgroup (CWMW). EcoAtlas. Accessed [date retrieved]. http://www.ecoatlas.org.