Data Summary

Riparian Buffer Assessment

2012 - Heritage Conservancy

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During 2011 - 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP), as part of the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program and Pennsylvania Stream ReLeaf, funded Heritage Conservancy to develop a rapid assessment method to identify and map sections of stream lacking riparian forest buffers. Montgomery County Planning Commission provided in-kind funding for the project as well as completing the assessment portion in Montgomery Count. Heritage Conservancy completed the assessment for the areas in Bucks County and Philadelphia County. Both organizations then mapped waterways lacking riparian forest buffers. The assessment included the main stem, tributaries and small headwater streams. The 1' pixel resolution 2010 aerials from DVRPC served as the basis for the riparian conditions along the waterways. The forest buffer conditions were classified and digitized into a Geographic Information System (GIS). This dataset is an assessment of the same area completed back in 200-2004. The same methodology of creating 50 foot buffers from the edge of water to assess the tree cover in this area was used. The stream centerline is used to represent the classification of whether one side, both sides, or neither side has tree cover. In addition to the three categories from the previous assessment, the category of culvert was added to incorporate areas where there was not an opportunity for tree cover.