Atchafalaya River Basin LULC Development

Funding Agency: US Army Corps of Engineers - New Orleans District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Lower Mississippi Valley Division (LMVD), has among its responsibilities to maintain the Atchafalaya River Basin. This river basin vegetation was the focus of this study. Studies are routinely conducted by COE to determine the impact of implemented flood control and navigation structures on vegetation. Many of the lands managed by COE along the Mississippi River have been designated as wetlands by various federal legislative actions. Because they are wetlands, they must be monitored and protected. Toward that end, the COE periodically conducts studies to establish trends in land cover changes along the river. One such study is the vegetation mapping within the Atchafalaya River basin. This basin is located in southern Louisiana and consists of approximately 3,000,000 acres.

The Spatial Sciences Laboratory (SSL) contracted with the LMVD to map the vegetation in the Atchafalaya River basin using color infrared (CIR) aerial photography. The end result of this mapping effort is a seamless, digital, GIS database for the entire area.