The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) recently announced the completion of the Chesapeake Bay High-resolution Land Cover Project.
The project is expected to provide improved information about natural and human-made features that exist on the landscape of the Bay watershed, such as buildings, tree canopy, and water.
CBP will use this dataset in 2017 as the foundation of its effort to evaluate stakeholder progress toward meeting reduction targets for Bay pollution loads.
Chesapeake Conservancy, a small nonprofit in Annapolis, Maryland, offered an innovative solution to help CBP improve available data about the Bay watershed.
Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center (CIC) spearheaded a partnership with the University of Vermont and Worldview Solutions, Inc. to complete the Chesapeake Bay High-resolution Land Cover Project, one of the largest high-resolution land cover datasets in the nation.
For ten months, the teams of geospatial analysts worked to produce one-meter by one-meter resolution land cover data for nearly 100,000 square miles comprising the Chesapeake Bay watershed and surrounding counties.
This new land cover classification has a high degree of accuracy and provides 900 times the amount of information over the existing watershed-wide dataset. Most importantly, this data will be publicly available and updated periodically, at no cost for anyone to use.
The CBP will use the high-resolution land cover data to improve and refine its current suite of modeling tools. This improved level of detail will enhance the evaluation of progress in support of the 2017 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Mid-Point Assessment (Bay TMDL).
The Chesapeake Conservancy has piloted the Chesapeake Bay High-resolution Land Cover Project by integrating the data into decision-support tools for restoration and conservation.
In addition to restoration applications, CBP expects the High-resolution Land Cover Project to also be useful to state and local governments, nonprofits, private businesses, and academic institutions throughout the watershed.
source: Chesapeake Bay Program