Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM)

Publication Date



This project had two major goals. The first builds on an earlier effort by the Virginia Department of Forestry, who delineated maritime forests using remote sensing techniques. Their project integrated land use and soils data to generate a map that defines potential boundaries of maritime forest. This study follows an identical approach with two major exceptions. The first is the soils data used in this study is mapped at a much finer scale. The second is this study has a field validation component that reviewed random sites around selected locations to ground-truth the remote sensing output. The Virginia Department of Forestry provided staff support from various regional offices to perform all field work. Ancillary data such as soils and aerial imagery were also used where wetland and dune habitat could be distinguished. The second major goal of this project was to compute, on a county-by-county basis, the amount of maritime forest cover present in each coastal locality, and the extent of maritime forests located within conservation lands. Boundaries for conserved lands data from VA DCR were used. The results of the study are documented here. A website hosted by the Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) includes report, maps, and GIS data (



Maritime Forests, Virginia, GIS, Monitoring

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


This project was funded in part by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Department of Environmental Quality through Grant # NA05NOS4191180 of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, or any of its subagencies.