Skip common site navigation and headers
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Exposure Research
Begin Hierarchical Links EPA Home > Research & Development > Exposure Research > Publications/Presentations > End Hierarchical Links

 

How Far to the Nearest Road?

spacer
spacer
Abstract:Increases in impervious surface area lead to declines in chemical and biological indicators of water quality .Roads are an important aspect of impervious surface, and distance to roads is an indicator of the potential threat to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Although roads are expected to be common in urban settings, the pervasiveness of roads in rural ecosystems is not well appreciated. We combined national land..cover (MRLC/NLCD) and road maps to measure the proportion of land area that was located within nine distances of the nearest road of any type, and summarized the results for 2,108 watersheds nationwide. Overall, 20% of the total land area was within 127 meters of the nearest road, and the proportion increased rapidly with distance such that 83% was within 1,061 meters of a road. Geographic regions with more than 60% of total land area within 127 meters of a road may be at greatest risk of cumulative ecological impacts from roads. Those regions include nearly all coastal zones as well as substantial portions of the southeast Piedmont, the southeast coastal plain, and the Ohio, Brazos, Colorado, San Joaquin, and Sacramento River basins. This research demonstrates how an interagency approach based on principles of landscape ecology and consistent national databases can be used to identify regions of the country at highest risk to road-mediate adverse impacts on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
spacer
Citation:Wickham, J. D., and K. H. Riitters. How Far to the Nearest Road? Presented at Science Forum 2003, Washington, DC, May 5-7, 2003.
spacer
spacer
Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
spacer
Division: Environmental Sciences Division
spacer
Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
spacer
Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
spacer
Presented: 05/05/2003
spacer
Related Entries:
spacer
Bullet Item Development of Landscape Indicators for Use in Regional Ecological Risk Assessments
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
spacer
spacer
spacer

 

ORD Home | Search EPA | Search NERL | Search EIMS | Contacts | Help

 
Begin Site Footer

EPA Home | Privacy and Security Notice | Contact Us

Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
URL: http://cfpub.epa.gov