Technical Questions Related to the Website and Interactive Mapping

Google Chrome or Firefox is recommended.
The WRR mapping application provides a robust GIS experience inside a browser. This means that little GIS training is required and generally no software is needed. Some GIS functions that would be available in a full desktop GIS are not available.
If a layer is grayed out in the table of contents on the map, that indicates that you must be zoomed to a specific scale range to view the data. Generally, you'll need to zoom in to see the data. This helps simplify the map; you wouldn't want to see every wetland across an entire state at once. If you have grayed out layers, try zooming in or out to determine at what point they become available.

Questions Related to the Spatial Analyses

The registry is purely a targeting tool; no guarantees are made about its accuracy; selecting a location using the WRR does not mandate approval by any regulatory agency. It does not guarantee approval of a specific location.
None. Having either a geographic location or type of mitigation in mind is helpful.
Anyone can use the WRR interactive website. It is used as a targeting tool for mitigation sites of a specific ecological opportunities or in a specific county or watershed.
Most states create eight spatial analyses to target terrestrial preservation and restoration, wetland preservation and restoration, riparian zone preservation and restoration, and natural stormwater infrastructure preservation, and degraded compromised stormwater infrastructure restoration.
It integrates multiple programs from the Clean Water Act, and moves mitigation efforts away from a stovepipe approach, towards a comprehensive watershed view. There was also collaboration between regulatory and non-regulatory agencies.
Yes, by using the Find Opportunities tool you can select a particular type of mitigation. Also, by turning data layers on and off in the left hand menu you can determine where your special interest is located within a watershed and perform watershed appropriate mitigation in the surrounding area.
It is not possible to introduce additional GIS data into the various spatial analyses completed for a WRR. It is possible to add external GIS data layers to the map interface. This can be achieved by either adding a shapefile or by adding a map service. See the 'Add Data' option on the map.
Once sites for field verification have been identified and data has been collected relating to the provided data sheets the data can then be re-entered into the WRR using the Site Assessment upload tool found within the WRR application.
It is possible that the WRR will indicate that an location would be a great location for preservation or restoration, but, after visiting the area, the user can see that it is not. This can occur for several reasons. The most likely cause is that the GIS data used in the spatial analyses have grown out of date. For example, an area showing as woodlands in 2011 may have been developed in 2014 and converted to a parking lot. It no longer makes sense for preservation. If you observe any inconsistencies, please email someone on the WRR team: Spagnolo.ralph@epa.gov, Bryson.ellen@epa.gov or tfoye@menv.com
The WRR was developed through the GIS Model Builder and is accessible to those with the GIS software. Most of the raw data used to develop the registry is available through public download sites which are listed within the state's registries 'home page'
The WRR will simplify the work for the consultant. Instead of searching blind they can use the registry to select a few sites that show potential, then ground truth them to determine which is the best for your specific needs.
Compare the data to the aerial photo, if it seems to match, the next step is ground-truthing.
The WRR could help to identify areas that should be avoided developmentally. Or conversely, areas that do not qualify for any mitigation opportunities would also be areas where development would be plausible.
The WRR could provide additional resource information from an avoidance and minimization perspective during the design process, and can help inform decision making when it comes to appropriate stormwater management controls/BMPs and mitigation/stewardship for wetlands, streams, stormwater and uplands.
In the Phase I Mitigation Plan submittal, when an applicant proposes a mitigation site, they should discuss how it fits into the WRR. They could also do this during the application for the impacts - include a discussion of the alternatives considered for the alignment, impacts, etc. using the WRR.
You still need approval for your site. The WRR is just a targeting tool, selecting a site it finds for your mitigation does not guarantee approval.
It could also be used by private developers to guide their land use decisions and help target mitigation needs as well as being used by Land Trust and wetland bankers to target areas for purchasing and preserving.
The WRR could be used at the local level to guide master planning efforts. It can be utilized by local DOTs and agencies in very similar fashion that SHA is anticipating to use for protection and mitigation opportunity identifications. Other organizations regulating and intending to support the Chesapeake Bay TMDL may also utilize this tool.