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Friday, 05 June 2009 Edited by: Beate Werner

Biological test data exchange

To: EIONET PCPs and NRCs for Rivers and Lakes and EIONET PCPs and NRCs for Marine and Coastal Environment

To: Freshwater and transitional and coastal water experts that have indicated they are willing to participate in the test reporting

Cc: Eionet National Focal Points  







            4 June, 2009




Dear Colleague,

At the ECOSTAT meeting of 21st April, 2009, a test data reporting excercise for biological quality elements in rivers, lakes, transitional and coastal waters, was agreed for 2009 (file: ECOSTAT_notes.doc).  This request is sent both to members of the EIONET and to experts that have indicated they are willing to participate in the test reporting. The list of Experts and national members of Ecostat (file: Biological contacts and Ecostat contacts.xls) is attached to this letter for your information and to allow you to coordinate this activity nationally.

The aim of the biological data reporting process, is to allow assessments of ecological impacts in the EEA SoE-reports, and to streamline the reporting process for such data under WISE-SoE reporting and the requirements of the WFD.

Following the agreed SoE guidance document endorsed by Water Directors in November 2008, data for the following biological elements should be reported:

Rivers and lakes:

·         Macroinvertebrates in rivers (national EQRs)

·         Phytoplankton in lakes (national EQRs and other optional parameters)

·         Macrophytes in lakes (national EQRs and other optional parameters)

For more information on reporting sheets see SoE guidance document endorsed by Water Directors in November 2008 available at

Transitional and Coastal Waters:

In addition, we would like to also collect national EQR values for benthic invertebrate fauna in transitional and coastal waters with the future aim of establishing an indicator on the ecological status of benthic invertebrate fauna, as discussed in the coastal and marine EIONET workshop in 2008 and with ECOSTAT Coast in 2009. For this reason we have attached a justification for the request (file: Why_are_biological_elements_needed_TC.doc) and  a description of the data processing (file: SoE_BIF_Reporting_sheet_Coastal_Transitional.doc). Allthough the benthic invertebrate fauna in the reporting sheet for transitional and coastal waters is not part of the finally agreed SoE guidance document, we have chosen to use a similar template because we have found this a very useful way to communicate with member states.

The following process is foreseen for the biological test data exchange and workshops:

Early June, 2009        

 Letter to countries with reporting format

June to August 15, 2009        

Test reporting by countries per water body  and station

August 15 –September 15, 2009                   

Compilation, Quality check and Analysis of reported data by ETC-Water

October 1-2, 2009

Presentation of results of data analyses at ECOSTAT workshop, Brussels

October 20-21, 2009

Presentation of results of data analyses at Freshwater Eionet workshop

November 4-5, 2009

Presentation of results of data analyses at Coastal and Marine Eionet workshop

November - December 2009

 Revised reporting sheets/format  for regular  reporting from 2010 onwards

We would like to invite you to provide us with your national EQRs and other optional parameters on biological quality elements at waterbody level , using representative stations as the reporting unit. We have developed an excel reporting format (files: template_EEA_biological_data_Rivers_and_Lakes_final.xls and  BIF_Coastal_Transitional_template_final.xls ) with explanatory notes for the biological data including examples of data from Norway and Slovenia respectively. Note that the reporting sheets differ depending on whether they are for rivers and lakes or transitional and coastal waters.

Please upload your biological data in the Excel file by 15th August 2009 using the normal reportnet procedures. A biological data folder (WISE-SoE Biological Data) has been created for each Member Country in the CDR. Alternatively, the Excel workbooks can be E-mailed to the EEA. Data on rivers and lakes should be e-mailed to  and with cc to ETC-Water (  Data on coastal and trasitional waters should be emailed to with cc to ETC-Water (

Starting mid-August, the EEA and ETC/Water will compile and analyse the reported data and information. On the 1st and 2nd of October the results will be presented at the Ecostat workshop in Brussels. Following this, two EIONET workshops will be held at the EEA: one for rivers and lakes NRC’s on 20th-21st October, the other for Marine and Coastal Environment  NRC’s on 4th – 5th November. Both workshops will have, as an agenda item, a presentation of the results of this exercise and a short discussion of the continued reporting of this data for EEA State of the Environment assessments. PCPs and NRCs will be invited to the workshops by separate letter.

Helpdesk service and support

In addition to the information requested in the reporting sheet, we are very interested in receiving reports or other material (e.g. river basin management plans) that describe how aquatic biological data are used to describe the ecological status in your country and how it might be related to any wider biodiversity monitoring. This information is highly relevant in further developing ecosystem related assessments at the EEA.

We hope you and your organisation will find it valuable to support this data flow and in this way contribute to improving EEA's State of the Environment assessments. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and look forward to a successful test data flow.

Yours sincerely,

Beate Werner
Head of Water Group, European Environment Agency

Attached files:

  1. ECOSTAT_notes.doc. (Notes prior to minutes of agenda item 13 from the ECOSTAT workshop 21st April 2009.)
  2. Biological experts and Ecostat_contacts.doc. (List of contacts who have been willing to take responsibility for the test data flow. The list has been established through a dialogue between the Ecostat members and the EIONET contacts in each country.)
  3. Why_are_biological_elements_needed_for_rivers_lakes.doc
  4. Why_are_biological_elements_needed_for_TC.doc
  5. SoE_BIF_Reporting_sheet_Coastal_Transitional.doc
  6. template_EEA_biological_data_Rivers_and_Lakes_final.xls
  7. BIF_Coastal_Transitional_template_final.xls