One of the strengths of the Eastern Division Conservation Program is the ability to work beyond state boundaries, unifying state datasets into regional stream and lake aquatic habitat classifications. The resulting habitat maps and datasets unite the disparate state classification systems into a single scheme for analysis of stream and lake processes, freshwater conservation, and climate change and scenario modeling.
These classifications are invaluable in regional freshwater conservation work because they:
- provide common definitions and mapping of aquatic habitat types across state lines.
- facilitate a new understanding of aquatic biota and populations on a regional scale by linking biological datasets to the regional aquatic habitat types for reporting and analysis
- create a new opportunities to assess the condition and prioritize habitats at a scale broader than the individual state by linking and reporting information on dams, land use, conservation lands, impaired waters, and other condition metrics by the regional aquatic habitat types