EPA Science Inventory

MARYLAND AGRICULTURE AND YOUR WATERSHED

Citation:

Kutz, F. W., R. Garibay, D. Bottimore, T. Prettyman, AND S. Orochena. MARYLAND AGRICULTURE AND YOUR WATERSHED. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/903/R-00/009 (NTIS PB2002-101257), 2001.

Description:



Using primarily 1995 State of Maryland agricultural statistics data, a new methodology was demonstrated with which State natural resource managers can analyze the areal extent of agricultural lands and production data on a watershed basis. The report organized major crop and livestock data onto the 19 United States Geological Survey hydrologic unit code 8-digit watersheds in Mary- land. Organizing the data according to watersheds provides a different perspective on agricultural production, because it helps to understand the potential impacts within each Maryland watershed and potentially on a regional basis when watershed boundaries overlap state lines. Data on the overall extent of crop and livestock activity within each watershed are presented in order to provide a clearer understanding of each watershed's agricultural intensity. Also information on fertilizer and pesticide use is provided to illustrate the context of issues surrounding environmental concerns and water quality. In addition, a discussion is presented on the programs and management practices being implemented in Maryland to reduce the impacts of agricultural production on the environment.

Purpose/Objective:

The primary objectives of this research are to:

Develop methodologies so that landscape indicator values generated from different sensors on different dates (but in the same areas) are comparable; differences in metric values result from landscape changes and not differences in the sensors;

Quantify relationships between landscape metrics generated from wall-to-wall spatial data and (1) specific parameters related to water resource conditions in different environmental settings across the US, including but not limited to nutrients, sediment, and benthic communities, and (2) multi-species habitat suitability;

Develop and validate multivariate models based on quantification studies;

Develop GIS/model assessment protocols and tools to characterize risk of nutrient and sediment TMDL exceedence;

Complete an initial draft (potentially web based) of a national landscape condition assessment.

This research directly supports long-term goals established in ORDs multiyear plans related to GPRA Goal 2 (Water) and GPRA Goal 4 (Healthy Communities and Ecosystems), although funding for this task comes from Goal 4. Relative to the GRPA Goal 2 multiyear plan, this research is intended to "provide tools to assess and diagnose impairment in aquatic systems and the sources of associated stressors." Relative to the Goal 4 Multiyear Plan this research is intended to (1) provide states and tribes with an ability to assess the condition of waterbodies in a scientifically defensible and representative way, while allowing for aggregation and assessment of trends at multiple scales, (2) assist Federal, State and Local managers in diagnosing the probable cause and forecasting future conditions in a scientifically defensible manner to protect and restore ecosystems, and (3) provide Federal, State and Local managers with a scientifically defensible way to assess current and future ecological conditions, and probable causes of impairments, and a way to evaluate alternative future management scenarios.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Start Date: 08/24/2001
Completion Date: 08/24/2001
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record Created: 09/26/2003
Record Released: 09/26/2003
Record ID: 63306

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH