Conserving the Cape Fear River Basin: A Watershed-Scale Parcel Prioritization

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2023-04-28

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Abstract

The Cape Fear River Basin (CFRB) spans over 9,000 square miles of North Carolina’s Piedmont and Coastal Plains, supporting a rapidly increasing human population and extensive agricultural operations. However, its communities and ecosystems are increasingly vulnerable to joint hydrological impacts of land use change, population growth, and climate change. Flooding and drought have become more frequent and extreme while polluted waters and riparian habitat fragmentation reduce biodiversity. The Nature Conservancy’s North Carolina Water Program (TNC) implements conservation and restoration projects to attenuate these threats. We streamlined project selection by using geospatial analysis to rank land parcels by their promotion of four objectives: 1. ecological resilience, 2. biodiversity, 3. social resilience to flooding, and 4. water quality. We adapted our geospatial analysis into a tool that TNC can use to rank parcels, isolate objectives, or alter their influence using a flexible weighting scheme.

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Bruns, Andrea, and Claire Elias (2023). Conserving the Cape Fear River Basin: A Watershed-Scale Parcel Prioritization. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27228.


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.