The Citizen Monitoring of Land Conversion to Development project intends to improve the knowledge of land conversion and the associated impacts throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. It supports the development of a watershed-wide methodology and local-level metrics for characterizing the rate of farmland, forest and wetland conversion, measuring the extent and rate of change in impervious surface coverage and quantifying the potential impacts of land conversion to water quality, healthy watersheds and communities. The project contributes to a public awareness campaign to share this information with citizens, local governments, elected officials and stakeholders.

The project will pilot a distributed citizen monitoring effort to develop precise and accurate county-level estimates of impervious surface change from 2001 and characterize the nature of that change (i.e., conversion of forest vs. farmland) using newly developed free image classification software -- Land Image Analyst (LIA).