The Information Resource Center will be a site where visitors can access Friends of the Bay’s water quality monitoring data and annual report, view maps of the watershed, search literature and browse a directory of information regarding the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Complex.   This resource center will include Friends of the Bay’s reports and studies, as well as reports prepared by the Town of Oyster Bay, Town of Huntington, Nassau and Suffolk County, State and Federal studies as well as any other academic or environmental studies of the area.  Among the reports that will be included are Friends of the Bay’s State of the Watershed Report, studies on the Mill River watershed, storm water analyses, biological inventories and our water quality data which Friends of the Bay has been compiling since 2000. Historic maps will also be included in the database.  The Information Resource Center will be hosted as a component to our website www.friendsofthebay.org.  In addition, it will be a resource for municipal managers for information regarding the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) regulations.

The Information Resource center will use professional information specialists to set up an expandable information platform. The creation and maintenance of the site will utilize Graduate Interns from the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at CW Post Campus of Long Island University.  Students from the local high schools and community volunteers will also be invited to lend their assistance to this program.

This digital resource center will make available the specialized knowledge of the Friends of the Bay and will provide a gateway to other resources for persons interested in the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Watershed.  The resource center will use GIS technologies. This is a geographical information system which integrates hardware, software and data for managing, analyzing, and developing all forms of geographically-referenced information. This allows search capability by subject or by location within the watershed.

Images will also be included in this searchable database, whether contemporary or historical.  Researchers would be able to see changes in the topography by viewing changes that may have occurred in maps, as well as by viewing archival photographs.

When fully implemented, this database will enable scientists, municipal officials, other non-profit agencies, students and private citizens to easily and quickly access information regarding the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Complex.  For example, if a municipal planner wanted to see water quality results for one of the nineteen sites Friends of the Bay monitors, he or she would be able to select that site in a map, and the data, as well as reports pertinent to that site, would appear and be available for research.

When designed and implemented the database can serve as a model for other non-profit agencies and watershed managers to use as an easily accessible and complete source for relevant information.   This information can be used by municipal managers and government agencies to guide decision making and implement action to improve the water quality of the harbor complex.  It will provide information to residents and nonprofit agencies as to the condition of the environment and factors affecting the environment.