Webvanta Blog: Creating Effective Websites

The Nature Conservancy Salmon Site Leverages Webvanta Platform

Salmon in California are in trouble. Salmon populations in northern California are between 7 to 15 percent of their recovery goals, while southern California steelhead populations are below 0.5 percent of their recovery targets.

The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the Department of Fish and Game, has been leading the effort to collect and publish data to generate support for the coastwide monitoring program, build awareness of the plight of salmon, and improve salmon conservation effectiveness. We were delighted to be chosen as their web development partner to create the first ever public repository of detailed information on salmon populations: California Salmon Snapshots.

Lisa Hulette, director of The Nature Conservancy’s California salmon initiative, noted that
“this is the most comprehensive salmon information in California, and these Salmon Snapshots will help guide statewide salmon recovery and investments in the places where we can have the greatest impact.”

Database-Driven, Responsive Design

The site includes extensive data on 37 watersheds in California. Designer Ginny Laughlin of Athena Design Group created the visual design, and Webvanta worked with Ginny and The Nature Conservancy staff to define and create a database structure to hold all the information. We implemented a fully responsive design, enabling this content-rich site to perform well on tablets and smartphones, as well as on desktop computers.

A Collaborative Effort

Collecting all of the information for the site was a big task for The Nature Conservancy team and its partners. The team was able to manage all the data on the site, without any technical skills, using Webvanta’s form-based admin pages, customized to their database needs. The information will be updated periodically by the TNC staff.

The overview map of the snapshots uses Google maps for the background, with the watershed outlines shown using a KML layer created by The Nature Conservancy’s GIS staff. Some custom JavaScript adjusts the display to optimize for different zoom levels, removing the outlines when zoomed out and enlarging the icons when zoomed in.

The site also includes information on various restoration actions, accessed by clicking icons on a river image, as well as an extensive list of organizations involved with each watershed.

Live Salmon Cam

One fun feature of the site is the live salmon cam, which shows a live underwater view (during daylight hours) from the Nature Conservancy’s Shasta Big Springs Ranch.

We love building content-rich websites, and when we can work with such a dedicated content team and help the salmon at the same time, it is especially satisfying!

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