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Washington State Department of Ecology
Resource Contact: Baird Miller
Effective Date: October 1, 2016

Open Data Plan


This plan is adopted by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) pursuant to the Open Data Policy established by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and is intended to satisfy the requirements of applicable statutes, including RCW 43.105.351.

This plan will be adopted by reference in the agency’s strategic plans.


Ecology commits to the following five general priorities with specific actions and measures in the twelve months following the adoption date of this plan:

  1. Incorporate public access when acquiring, redesigning, or rebuilding information systems.
    • Ecology will include an open data strategy for any decision package submitted for review by the OCIO. Further, Ecology will include open data components in any decision package submitted for internal review by the Ecology Strategic Architecture Team. Ecology’s decision package templates will be updated to facilitate this new commitment.
    • Ecology will maintain an inventory of its principal databases. Publically accessible databases and applications are listed on the Ecology Databases page. The Databases page also includes links to GIS data  and datasets shared on
    • Measurable: Track monthly page views.
  2. Coordinate technology planning across agency boundaries to facilitate electronic access to state data.
    • Ecology will continue to update and improve access to environmental information across the various programs and business areas of the agency. We will continue to increase data provided to federal, state, tribal, and local partners from cross-program business areas using the Environmental Information Exchange Network,,, and other open data portals and technologies.
    • Measureable: Track monthly page views, online database searches, and submissions and requests from the Environmental Information Exchange Network.
    • Ecology will appoint an executive responsible for overseeing and reporting on our agency’s open data efforts.
    • Ecology will dedicate space on our website to showcase significant open data projects, including but not limited to:
      • Significant open data releases
      • Ecology’s mapping efforts
      • Special purpose web-pages that use data to tell Ecology’s story
      • Mobile applications
      • Data visualizations
      • Data analysis performed by Ecology staff
    • Measureable: Number of visitors that click on our open data showcase projects.
  3. Develop processes to determine which information the public most wants and needs.
    • Ecology’s web team tracks and shares number of views of the agency’s primary data portal page and significant data pathway pages, including but not limited to:
    • Measureable: Track monthly page views and clicks on the databases portal page and provide results to appropriate data stewards.
    • Ecology will collect feedback on our Databases web page and on, to inform us on which datasets are most needed by our partners.
    • Measureable: Count how many suggestions we receive and how many are implemented.
  4. Develop and employ methods to readily protect non-disclosable data.
    • Ecology will require that all staff receive training on Records and Information Management (RIM) and Public Records Disclosure. This training must be renewed every three years.
    • Measureable: Ecology will report the number of staff completing this training each year to the Open Data Program Manager at WaTech.
  5. Develop and employ technical mechanisms for posting open data.
    • Ecology will continue improving automated data publication. Ecology will also streamline manual data publication processes, where possible.

Approved: Polly Zehm, Deputy Director (10/1/2016)


Environmental Data for Scientists


Environmental Information Management (EIM) System -- Environmental Data
(EIM How-To videos)

Facility/Site Identification (F/SID) System

Coastal Atlas Map - Shoreline photos, flood maps, beaches and more.


Freshwater Algae Database

Washington State Geospatial Clearinghouse

Pacific Northwest Water Quality Data Exchange.