USGS, EPA, Blue Legacy launch innovative nutrient awareness challenge

The U.S. Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency and Blue Legacy International have officially announced the Visualizing Nutrients Challenge, an innovation competition focusing on inventive ways to organize and analyze existing data of nutrient levels in water.

April 10, 2015 -- The U.S. Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency and Blue Legacy International, a water-focused nonprofit organization, have officially announced the Visualizing Nutrients Challenge, an innovation competition focusing on inventive ways to organize and analyze existing data of nutrient levels in water.

With $15,000 in cash prizes, the contest encourages participants to utilize government data sources to create compelling visualizations that inform citizens, communities and resource managers about conditions of nitrogen and phosphorus in the nation's waters.

The goal of Visualizing Nutrients is to help educate and inspire action to address algal blooms, hypoxia and other nutrient-related water quality issues. The challenge builds on the activities of the Open Water Data Initiative (see "AWRA introduces national Open Water Data Initiative"), working in conjunction with President Obama's Climate Data Initiative, that seeks to further integrate existing water datasets and make them more accessible to innovation and decision making.

First Place will receive $10,000, and a People’s Choice Award will receive $5,000. Both winners will have special opportunities to highlight their work in a number of important forums. The competition started on Tuesday, April 7, and will continue through 11:59 p.m., on June 8, 2015.

This prize competition is also part of the National Day of Civic Hacking, as well as the broader work of the Challenging Nutrients Coalition. Under the directive of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the coalition was organized with the goal of bringing innovative approaches to the issue of nutrient pollution. The group consists of federal agencies, universities and non-profits.

See also:

"Federal agencies use satellite data to protect U.S. fresh water from algal threats"

"New WRF study explores effective methods for toxic algae removal in drinking water"

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