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What is INSTAR?

INSTAR (INteractive STream Assessment Resource) is a dynamic and interactive mapping and data visualization application. INSTAR allows users to access and manipulate a comprehensive (and growing) database representing over 2,000 aquatic (stream and river) collections statewide.  Data represent fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages, instream habitat, and stream health assessment, based on integrative, multimetric indices at the watershed scale and a stream reach scale.  The application supports user-driven database queries, mapping functions, and online editing capabilities.

The INSTAR program began in 2003 as a collaboration between the Center for Environmental Studies at VCU and several agencies, including the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program. The goal of INSTAR is to develop complementary, synoptic, and geospatial database for fish and macroinvertebrate community composition and abundance at stream locations throughout the state, including larger (4th order or greater), non-wadeable streams and rivers.  INSTAR, and the extensive aquatic resources database on which it runs, support a wide variety of stream assessment, management, and conservation activities aimed at restoring and protecting aquatic living resources throughout the Commonwealth.

****INSTAR version 3.0 is now in Beta. Click the Lauch Application
button to view the enhanced application!****

Upcoming Events

1/28/2010 - INSTAR is running.

Virginia's Healthy Waters Booklet available!!! 10mb




View the Richmond Times Dispatch's article. You can also download the pdf . 1mb

This document was last updated on January 14, 2010
Virginia Commonwealth University
Center for Environmental Studies
1000 West Cary Street - Richmond, Virginia 23284 - 804-828-7202 (Phone) - 804-828-1622 (fax) -
Contact the INSTAR team
VCU Link