Celebrating Earth Day 2024

Apr 22, 2024
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Today, April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day. For over 50 years, Earth Day has served as an opportunity to create conversations about environmental regulation, education, conservation, and restoration, and it’s remained a rallying cry for more urgent action. The first Earth Day in 1970 led to the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the years since, millions of people across the globe have come together to make positive change and create a better, more sustainable future. 

At Upstream Tech, our mission is to make environmental data more accessible so that organizations and individuals can enact more change. We’re committed to using our technology to help our partners make a difference in their space. As such, we’ve brought together some posts to get you started on the work we do here, and how we’re helping partners around the country and globally to take action to steward land, protect habitats and ecosystems, and better manage water in an ever-increasingly turbulent time. We hope this catches you up and gets you excited about the potential for remote monitoring and the best in streamflow forecasting.

Let's dive in.

Improving remote monitoring for forest management with Lens

Using Analyze Area and the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) dataset, we can identify where a fire has specifically affected this region in South Africa.

Forests are more than the sum of the species within them. The trees and forests that we all know and love provide critical habitat for biodiversity, clean air for all of Earth’s beings, filter and retain water, and, as is often the talk these days, store carbon. Today, forest managers are not only using traditional methods to track change in their forests but looking to use the latest tools – in the form of satellite imagery, data, and AI – to better track change, outcomes, and understand the land they care about. 

Learn more about the latest advancements in remote monitoring for forest management with Lens

Denver Water leverages HydroForecast to respond rapidly and ensure resilient water resource management

Upstream Tech Advisor and WaterValue President Paul Fleming, along with Blair Troutman from Blue Water Group, organized a webinar on Incorporating AI into Water Utility Operations for members of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA). In the webinar, Taylor Winchell from Denver Water talks about how he and his team leverage HydroForecast’s streamflow forecasts to respond rapidly to fluctuations in precipitation, temperature, and snowpack levels while ensuring that their water resource management strategies remain resilient in the face of increasing climate uncertainty and upcoming construction plans.

View a shortened clip from the webinar to see some compelling visuals of the HydroForecast dashboard in action

Utilizing overlays to provide helpful context while monitoring in Lens

Part of our mission is to expand access to geospatial data, and one way that we’re working towards that goal is to consistently add new datasets and overlays to the Lens Library. We’ve added several new overlays to the Library in 2024, including one derived from The National Wetland Inventory (NWI). The National Wetlands Inventory is a program from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to map wetlands across the U.S. This data is incredibly valuable for understanding wetland presence and informing land use planning.

In this video example, our Lens Head of Product Abby Smith demonstrates how you can use the Massachusetts Wetland Inventory overlay in Lens to make informed assessments on how wetlands have changed in recent decades, including an example of how a former cranberry bog was restored to wetlands.

Exploring How New Models & AI Inform Better Water Supply Forecasts

Water supply forecasting is a major issue in the Western U.S., with snow patterns and temperatures changing in ways we have not seen. Water managers need better tools (and more of them) for planning and operating large supply reservoirs, anticipating heavy precipitation events and storing water efficiently for the season. AI and machine learning compliment current approaches and provide additional benefits, and that’s where HydroForecast comes in.

Watch the full webinar to learn how a hybrid approach utilizing new AI methods produces highly accurate and easy-to-use forecasts that address the changing needs of water utilities. 

Reforesting the land in the Atlantic Forest with Apple's Restore Fund and Lens

An aerial view of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, credit Apple.

Over the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Space Intelligence to support Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) for Apple’s Restore Fund. Restoring the rainforest and reforesting the land in South America’s Atlantic Forest have been at the core of Apple-supported projects in the region, and the company recently shared a big story about their progress. We’re thrilled to support Apple’s strong and growing commitment to sustainability and excited to see what the next chapter of the Restore Fund will bring.

Read more about Apple’s Restore Fund projects and their progress here

Earth Day is a powerful reminder that we all share one planet. It gives us the opportunity to come together for one day to celebrate the environment and take action to protect it. Our mission is to bring the power and purpose of Earth Day to the other 364 days per year, and we hope you’ll join us! 

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