The National Stream Internet (NSI) is a network of people, data, and analytical techniques that interact synergistically to create information about streams. The NSI is needed because accurate, high-resolution status and trend information does not exist for most biological and water quality attributes across the 5.5 million stream kilometers in the United States. Without that information, prioritization of limited resources for conservation and management proceeds inefficiently. In recent decades, however, 100s of natural resource agencies have invested millions of dollars to collect stream datasets that contain massive amounts of untapped information. That information can now be developed inexpensively using nationally consistent sets of geospatial data products with new spatial stream-network models (SSN). The SSN models outperform traditional statistical techniques applied to stream data, enable predictions at unsampled locations to create status maps for river networks, and work particularly well with databases aggregated from multiple sources that contain clustered sampling locations.
The NSI project is funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Landscape Conservation Cooperative program and has two simple objectives: 1) refine key spatial and statistical stream software and digital databases for compatibility so that a nationally consistent analytical infrastructure exists and is easy to apply; and 2) engage a grassroots user-base in application of this infrastructure so they are empowered to create new and valuable information from stream databases anywhere in the country. This website is a hub designed to connect users with software, data, and tools for creating that information. As better information is developed, it should enable stronger science, management, and conservation as pertains to stream ecosystems.