Land use is one of the most critical data sets for the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) Watershed Model. Land use data have previously been prepared by the CBP Land Data Team in consultation with the CBP Watershed Modeling Team. Land use classifications have been driven by available data and by the expressed needs of CBP workgroups to inform management decisions. The work of the Land Data Team has been reviewed by CBP Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) in 2008 and 2010. During the Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) process, differences have come to light between the land use data set used by that CBP that covers the entire watershed over a multi-decadal period and local-scale information. These differences have caused difficulties in implementation planning and reporting in support of the WIPs. As the responsibility to implement restoration efforts is pushed to the local governments, it is vital that the land use data used in the watershed model is perceived as relevant at the local government scale. To this end, the Land Use Workgroup will directly involve stakeholders in the generation of land use data for modeling. The challenge will be to assemble a more accurate baseline dataset using local information to the extent possible while estimating historic land use acreages in a clear, transparent, and logical fashion.
Peter is a Research Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Eastern Geographic Science Center and has worked at the Chesapeake Bay Program Office since 2002. Peter leads the Land Data Team at the CBPO which conducts research on land change characterization, analysis, and modeling in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Peter led the development of the Chesapeake Bay Land Change Model and urban land use data for use in the Phase 5.x watershed models. Currently, Peter is exploring alternative methods for simulating urban growth, initiating a study on the impact of impervious surface patterns on water quality, and pursuing the concept of crediting land-use planning as a “Best Management Practice” in the context of the Bay TMDL from both modeling and policy perspectives.
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