Geospatial Evaluation for Ecological Watershed Management: A Case Study of Some Chesapeake Bay Sub-Watersheds in Maryland USA


Geospatial technology is increasingly being used for various applications in environmental management as the need for sustainable development becomes more evident in today’s rapidly-developing world. As a decision tool, Geographic Information system (GIS) and Global positioning System (GPS) can support major decisions dealing with natural phenomena distributed in space and time. Such is the case for land use/cover known to impact ecosystems health in very direct ways. Our study examined one such application in managing land use of some sub-watersheds in the eastern Shore of Maryland, USA. We conducted a 20-year historical land use/cover evaluation using Landsat-TM remotely sensed images and GIS analysis and water monitoring data acquired during the period by Maryland Department of Natural Resources, including sewage discharge of some municipalities in the area. The results not only showed general trends in land use patterns, but also detailed dynamics of land use-land cover classes, impact on water quality, as well as other useful information for guiding both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems management decisions of the sub-watersheds. The use of this technology for evaluating trends in land use/cover on a decade-by-decade basis is recommended as standard practice for managing ecosystem health on a sustainable basis.

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I. Aighewi and O. Nosakhare, "Geospatial Evaluation for Ecological Watershed Management: A Case Study of Some Chesapeake Bay Sub-Watersheds in Maryland USA," Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol. 5 No. 4, 2013, pp. 354-368. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2013.54034.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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