Bay Journal

Topics: Conservation + Land Use

Flood of 10 million trees could help offset impact of future PA deluges

Veteran newspaper photographer John Pavoncello has been eye-to-eye with all kinds of human drama.

In the short time his drone imaging business has been up and running, Pavoncello has gone above and beyond to record traumas faced by fire and law enforcement first responders.

But it was the sight of nature’s powerful force that he called “crazy.”

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About Conservation + Land Use

Since colonial times, no change to the Chesapeake ecosystem has been greater than the alteration of its landscape. A vast expanse of forest once absorbed most of the rainfall and held most of the sediment in place.

Over time, the forests have been replaced with farms and development, all of which have greatly increased the amount of runoff and pollution reaching streams and the Chesapeake Bay. While forests still comprise the greatest land use in the region, they have been greatly altered, consisting of smaller trees and lacking many of the species — such as American chestnut — that were common in the past.

The rapid rate of development in recent decades has accelerated the spread of impervious surfaces such as roads, roofs and parking lots, dramatically increasing runoff and degrading stream health throughout the region. Conservation efforts are underway to identify, and protect, some of the high priority landscapes and resources that remain.

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