Development

As more people move into the Chesapeake Bay region, development has turned forests, farms and other landscapes into subdivisions, shopping centers and parking lots.

FAQ

  • What is stormwater runoff?

    Stormwater runoff is precipitation in an urban or suburban area that does not evaporate or soak into the ground but instead runs across the land and into the nearest waterway.

  • What can be done to ease the effects of development?

    There are many low-impact development techniques that can be installed around homes and buildings. Rain gardens, porous pavement and green roofs are a few techniques that will help reduce pollution from developed areas.

  • What are impervious surfaces?

    Impervious surfaces are paved or hardened surfaces that do not allow water to pass through. Roads, rooftops, sidewalks, pools, patios and parking lots are all impervious surfaces.

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Terms

  • Erosion

    The disruption or movement of soil by wind, water or ice, occurring naturally or as a result of land use practices.

  • Forest fragmentation

    A form of habitat fragmentation occurring when large patches of forest are cut down in a manner that leaves smaller patches of trees standing. Forest fragmentation can be caused by wildfires or by the intentional clearing of trees to make room for roads and development, and can make it difficult for some species to breed or find food.

  • Impervious

    A hardened surface or area that does not allow water to pass through. For example, roads, rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, pools, patios and parking lots are all impervious surfaces.

  • Infrastructure

    The physical structures and facilities that support the functioning of a community, including roads, sewers, water lines and power supplies.

  • Sediment

    Loose particles of sand, silt and clay that settle on the bottom of rivers, lakes, estuaries and oceans. Suspended sediment pushed into the water by erosion is one of the biggest impairments to water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

  • Sprawl

    Land development that is built away from urban areas and existing town centers, creating large areas of relatively low-density residential and commercial development.

  • Stormwater

    Any precipitation in an urban or suburban area that does not evaporate or soak into the ground, but instead collects and flows into storm drains, rivers and streams. Stormwater is also called urban stormwater, stormwater runoff and polluted runoff. Increased development across the Chesapeake Bay watershed has made stormwater the fastest growing source of pollution to the Bay and its rivers and streams.

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