Land Cover Data used to Analyze Sedimentation

Clear-cut timber harvests contribute to excess sediment loads in streams, eventually leading to problems for estuaries. However, timber harvest records on private lands are not centralized or available in GIS format, making it difficult to quantify sedimentation processes and threats throughout the watershed.

The Wetlands Conservancy developed a conservation plan for the Yaquina Estuary in Lincoln County, Oregon, and used NOAA’s coastal land cover data to document how land was being used. Comparing land cover data over five year intervals, study leaders were provided a quick and reasonably accurate representation of clear-cuts. The data was analyzed along with impervious surface data from the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Land Cover Database. This information is now guiding conservation efforts that address critical watershed and estuary processes, functions, and restoration opportunities. (2016)

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Partners: NOAA Office for Coastal Management, The Wetlands Conservancy