Watershed Management

Site-Specific Analysis: Mapping Nutrient Runoff

Salem River watershed

New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)is now taking a watershed management approach to solving environmental problems. Many farmers are being implicated for non-profit sources of nutrient run-off into watersheds. We are now able to provide farmers with maps of the distribution of these nutrients on their fields. In addition, the integration of these site-specific data sets with existing 1995/1997 United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1 meter resolution digital ortho-photography enables us to analyze the proximity of these fields to watersheds. In the future, these measurements will be used in conjunction with digital elevation models to target areas within fields that contribute to nutrient runoff.

water sampling points

Remote Sensing: Monitoring Watershed Health

A GPS-video camera was used this past summer to determine its potential use as a management tool for watershed analysis. Weekly flights to evaluate the Salem Watershed, Salem County, NJ were made during the month of August. One of the biggest benefits initially realized from the use of aerial imagery, was the educational value it provided to producers who could visually identify the location of their fields with respect to the watershed. Video images were analyzed to identify aquatic growth (algal blooms), sedimentation, and proximity to existing agricultural fields and urban/industrial centers.

video camera pics

 

Back to New Tools for Small Farm Management main page

Return to Precision Agriculture main page