Recent Progress: Increase

This outcome has made tremendous progress over the past two years, including the finalization of a high-resolution land use/land cover data set for all counties within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, covering 2013/14 and 2017/18. This data has been incorporated into an impervious surface cover indicator for this outcome, representing an increase in recent progress for the goal of this outcome as it directly improves our knowledge of land conversion. Later this year, the high-resolution land use/land cover data will be used to inform additional indicators, such as rates of land conversion, riparian forest extent and change, and effective impervious cover extent and change. Efforts are also underway to back-cast the high-resolution land use/land cover data from 2013 to the 1980s.

Outlook: On Course

The Land Use Methods and Metrics Development Outcome is on course. The metrics described in the outcome language will be finalized later in 2023 and reassessed in 2024 with 2021/22 data. The development of an impervious surface cover indicator enables reporting on the amount of the watershed covered by impervious surfaces, the change in impervious cover over time, and the types of impervious cover that contributed most to the changes. The part of the outcome that poses the greatest challenge currently is translating the land use/land cover change data into a form that is actionable for communities, which will require closer coordination among teams working on related outcomes.

Learn About Factors Influencing Progress

Management Strategy

To achieve this outcome, Chesapeake Bay Program partners have committed to:

  • Monitoring the conversion of farmland, forests and wetlands every two to five years;
  • Assessing the rate of impervious surface change every two to five years; and
  • Quantifying the impacts of land conversion on water quality, healthy watersheds and communities.
  • Communicating results to the public, elected officials and Chesapeake Bay Program partners.

Assessing progress toward the outcome will occur quarterly. Once metrics and impact measures are approved, they will be reassessed with the receipt of updated land cover information every three to five years.

As part of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s partnership-wide implementation of adaptive management, progress toward this outcome was reviewed and discussed by the Management Board in March of 2023. It will be reviewed and discussed by the Management Board again in March of 2025.

Download Management Strategy (.pdf)

Logic & Action Plan

Chesapeake Bay Program partners have committed to taking a series of specific actions that will support the management approaches listed above.

Learn About Logic & Action Plan

Participating Partners

The Healthy Watersheds Goal Implementation Team leads the effort to achieve this outcome. It works in partnership with the Vital Habitats, Water Quality and Fostering Stewardship goal implementation teams, as well as the Local Government Advisory Committee.

Participating partners include:

  • Maryland Department of the Environment (State of Maryland)
  • Maryland Department of Planning (State of Maryland)
  • Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)
  • The Chesapeake Bay Commission
  • Eastern Geographic Science Center and National Geospatial Program (U.S. Geological Survey)
  • The Chesapeake Conservancy