The USGS BioData database provides access to data on algae, including diatoms, from regional and national surveys. For example, users can construct a query to retrieve, say, records of Epithemia sorex from Colorado. Or, users might retrieve records of the genus Epithemia from a number of states across the country. The data returned shows sample sites, relative and total abundance of all algae recorded and many other details. The species lists and nomenclature used in BioData are based on this web resource, Diatoms of the United States. Permanent slides and material from the surveys are archived at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

BioData includes data from over 15,000 fish, macroinvertebrate, and algal samples. Physical data, such as habitat information, from over 5000 samples are also available for download. BioData contains records that were collected and processed starting in 1991 using the protocols of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA). The database includes data collected by USGS scientists using the procedures and protocols of the EPA National Rivers and Streams Assessment program (NRSA). Users may retrieve data based on criteria using filters that include parameters such as data type, location, date, or taxonomic group.