Assessing the Delaware River Basin Using Land Cover Information

The Takeaway: Data showed that land development averaged 19 football fields per day over a five-year period.

Landscape alterations play a crucial role in water quality conditions. The Delaware River Basin Commission used NOAA’s coastal land cover data to assess current conditions and past trends throughout this river basin.

Analysis showed that in a recent five-year period land was developed at an average rate of 19 football fields per day. Nearly 70 percent of conversion occurred to forests, resulting in a loss of more than 6,000 forested acres per year, the equivalent of one football field every two hours. When compared to population change, the development of land per capita was nearly twice the historical average. (2016)

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Partners: Delaware River Basin Commission