A watershed of over 13,000 square miles, the Delaware River Basin (DRB) provides water resources for roughly 5% of the US population – over 15 million people – including roughly 7 million people in New York City and northern New Jersey who live outside of the Basin. The DRB faces significant challenges: many waterways still do not meet the stated goals of the Clean Water Act to be fishable and swimmable, population growth and associated land cover changes are a concern for water supply and water quality, gas drilling is emerging as a new industry with impacts on water supply and water quality, and climate change brings threats of sea level rise and the potential for more extreme droughts and flooding.
Reliable and regular land cover data are essential to address these challenges, as is the need for forecasting land cover changes in order to continually prioritize restoration and protection investments. These products need to be available Basin-wide in order to ensure conservation actions are targeted strategically. To address these needs, this project addresses three related components:
Based out of the Center for Land Use and Sustainability at Shippensburg University, our research team is working to address these challenges. With support from the Delaware Watershed Research Fund, we will connect models of land cover change, climate change, hydrology and tree species to address the impact of future development and environmental change in the Delaware River Basin. Learn more.