Project Information

Project: NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program (NOAA-NOS-NCCOS-2017-2004875)

Project Title: Linking Community and Food-Web Approaches to Restoration: An Ecological Assessment of Created and Natural Marshes Influenced by River Diversions.

Data Management Points of Contact

Lead Principal Investigator
Michael J. Polito
Louisiana State University

Data Manager
Wendy Morrison
Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON)

Co-Principal Investigator with Oversight
Nancy N. Rabalais

NOAA Data Point of Contact:
Jessica Morgan
Scientific Data Coordinator
NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science,

Goals of Data and Information Management

The goal of the data and information management system is to centralize information and data for access by RESTORE Food Web investigators initially, and subsequently to collaborators, and members of the funded RESTORE science enterprise. The RESTORE Food Web research program is committed to providing the highest quality data, data products, and synthetic analyses in publicly accessible databases and information outlets, ensuring access to a broader community, including the public, educators, and local, regional, state and national government offices. Timely submission of data to a national repository means no later than publication of a peer-reviewed article based on the data, or two years after the data are collected and verified, or two years after the original end date of the grant (regardless of any extensions or follow-on funding), whichever is soonest, unless a delay has been authorized by the NOAA funding program.

Details of Data and Information Management

An initial call for projected datasets was issued by the Data Manager for researchers to fill out a Data Information Form (DIF), a word document template designed to obtain basic information about a dataset. The purpose of the DIF is twofold: 1) to assist researchers in thinking about data organization at an early stage, and 2) to begin discussions between the RESTORE Food Web Data Management Team and the researchers on proper dataset format and composition of adequate metadata. These DIF forms are used for the duration of the project to identify datasets that were not part of the initial projected dataset list.

Upon final approval of DIFs, each dataset is assigned an internal tracking number (ITN) and entered into an internal database tracking sheet maintained by the Data Manager. Future information for each data set will be logged. A similar tracking sheet design proved invaluable in the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative project as a mechanism to track and manage the many datasets generated from a multi-investigator project.

Draft datasets are submitted by researchers to the RESTORE Food Web Data Manager, who will internally review and work with each researcher to populate an Excel file containing basic metadata about the dataset. The Data manager will then post the dataset and abbreviated metadata onto a Google Team Drive where it can be shared with RESTORE Food Web investigators.

When researchers are ready to finalize and make datasets publicly available, the Data Manager will create formal xml metadata files that follow the ISO 19115-2 standard (the same used for Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Integrative Information Cooperative (GRIIDC) submissions) and submit metadata and data files to NOAA personnel who will finalize for submission to NCEI or distribution to an acceptable national repository.

Data Types

Samples Collected at Each Marsh Site

  • Hydroperiod and Salinity (Erick Swenson)
  • Primary Producers (marsh and aquatic) & Nutrients (Brian Roberts)
  • Bacteria, Archaea, Fungi (Annette Engel)
  • Marsh Infauna (Nancy Rabalais)
  • Insects (Linda Bui)
  • Macroinvertebrates (Paola López-Duarte, Charlie Martin, Jill Olin, Mike Polito, Brian Roberts)
  • Fish & Nekton (Paola López-Duarte, Charlie Martin, Jill Olin, Mike Polito, Olaf Jensen)

Environmental Sample Lab Analyses

  • Chemical analyses of aquatic and sedimentary parameters (Roberts, Rabalais, Engel)
  • Species Composition/Abundance (Mike Polito, Annette Engel, Brian Roberts, Charlie Martin Jill Olin, Linda Bui, Nancy Rabalais, Olaf Jensen, Paola López-Duarte)
  • Tracers (Mike Polito, Jill Olin, Olaf Jensen, Paola López-Duarte)

Deployed Instrumentation

  • Hourly conductivity, temperature and water level data are collected at sites LHA, LHB, LHC, and conductivity and temperature are collected at the West Pointe à la Hache outfall channel. (Erick Swenson)


  • Model Development, Testing and Analysis (Olaf Jensen)
  • Input data used for ecosystem model development and any data manipulations are described in a meta-data file (including an Ecopath with Ecosim “Pedigree Table”). The table and the balanced Ecopath model will be shared on an online open access repository for EwE models: EcoBase – This is the most widely used platform for sharing EwE models.


  • Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) collects elevation mapping data as part of their monitoring plan for restored areas. We will access these raw data and data products (e.g., KMZ files, SHP files) upon request from CPRA.
  • GPS points are collected for all sampling transects, monitoring stations, and trap/gear deployments.
  • We are exploring collecting elevation data at sampling transects and monitoring.

Remote Sensing and Aerial Imagery

  • CPRA collects aerial imagery as part of their monitoring plan for restored areas. We will access raw imagery and data products (e.g., % land/water calculations) upon request from CPRA.

*The Restore Food Web Data Management Plan relies heavily on the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), Coastal Waters Consortium Data Management Plan, for data submitted to GoMRI’s GRIIDC (Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Integrative Information Cooperative).