Wetland Assessment and Management Using a GIS Approach

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by Lynda L. Downs, Univ of Maryland, College Park, United States,
Robert J. Nicholls, Univ of Maryland, College Park, United States,
David Gordon, Univ of Maryland, College Park, United States,
Joseph Hautzenroder, Univ of Maryland, College Park, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93:

Abstract: Bloodsworth Island, in the Chesapeake Bay, is an important waterfowl and waterbird habitat comprising a large area of wetlands and one small upland ridge. it is experiencing rapid, but largely unquantified land loss and wetland habitat change due to high rates of sea-level rise. Further, Bloodsworth Island, owned by the U.S. Navy since the 1940's, is used for a bombing range from Spring through Autumn. This raises the question of the relative importance of natural processes versus anthropomorphic processes on wetland change and loss, and hence waterfowl habitat. A study is underway to provide an answer to this question. Using GIS technology, a temporal and spatial analysis of both land loss and waterfowl and habitat is being conducted. This study will create a database for analysis of the present condition of the island and waterfowl-habitat associations, as well as providing a baseline for future monitoring. This knowledge will allow better management of island wetland and habitat manipulation in support of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

Subject Headings: Geographic information systems | Wetlands (fresh water) | Information systems | Islands | Wetlands (coastal) | Information management | Spatial analysis | Databases | Systems management | Chesapeake Bay region

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