Overview and Outcomes
FieldDoc.org is a product of Chesapeake Commons, designed to help practitioners set goals, track progress, and map their grant funded restoration projects throughout the Bay watershed. The application was created in partnership with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to empower their grantees with a standardized method for project reporting and calculating nutrient and sediment reductions in accordance with the latest version of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model.
Program staff working for NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund and MDNR’s Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund use FieldDoc for proposal evaluation and to help measure the impact of their respective grant programs. At the proposal stage of NFWF and MDNR’s grant process, a prospective grantee will register for a FieldDoc account and create a pre-project plan. Under the pre-project plan, the grantee can annotate a variety of information about the the work they aim to complete including on-the-ground restoration that will occur if their project is funded. These data often include the project title, description, and a grant program but also enables users to create restoration sites by dropping a pin on the map. Once a location is plotted on the landscape, individuals can start setting goals affiliated with the best management practices (BMP) that will be installed at a respective site. If a project is funded, the grantee can use FieldDoc to report on installation progress toward their project goals and even monitor BMPs with a suite of interim metrics.
Out of the box, FieldDoc supports metric tracking for over 100 BMPs that are in lock step with federal scenario tools such as the Chesapeake Assessment and Scenario Tool (CAST). The platform's tracking feature sets also support practices commonly implemented by Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund and Maryland Trust Fund grantees. These practices rely on the the same algorithms as the latest version of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model to estimate current and proposed load reductions for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment. Users of the platform benefit from robust analytics and metrics that dynamically summarize the nutrient and sediment reductions tied to their restoration sites as well as the cumulative project. FieldDoc can also tabulate the overall status toward achieving project completion, which is useful for both funders and grantees. Beyond Bay restoration efforts, our flexible architecture enables our team to add new specified metrics into FieldDoc for nearly any grant program, while still being able to compare data across funders and restoration practitioners.
Standardizing the documentation and monitoring of restoration projects and BMP implementation is paramount to ensuring Bay restoration goals are transparently met. FieldDoc takes an important first step toward that goal by providing users with a simple interface for project management and incentive based contribution by providing useful metrics that indicate project success and summarization of project's impact on water quality improvement. Our team firmly believes that by helping restoration stakeholders solve common hurdles related to management, tracking, and sharing of their on-the-ground project work, we can begin to find commonalities and chip away at the massive iceberg that is BMP standardization. This will lead to transparent aggregation of quality volunteer reported practice data that is created from a bottom up movement focused on local watershed and Bay restoration.