Applications of Geographic Information Systems for Growth Management Planning and Water Quality Protection in the Coastal Region of North Carolina

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Title: Applications of Geographic Information Systems for Growth Management Planning and Water Quality Protection in the Coastal Region of North Carolina
Author: Essic, Jefferson Forrest
Advisors: Hugh A. Devine, Chair
Leon E. Danielson, Member
Rodney L. Huffman, Member
Abstract: Research efforts conducted in coastal areas of North Carolina andother regions have documented numerous examples of negative impacts toestuarine water quality as a result of unplanned and unmanaged development.However, new construction is continuing at a rapid pace in these areas,forcing local planners to make complex decisions regarding land uses andprotection of cultural and natural resources. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-driven toolthat has proven valuable in assisting with this decision making process.GIS technology provides the means to efficiently collect, store, and retrievevast amounts of spatial data. Then, this information may be visually displayedin a manner that supports better understanding and analysis of the physicalenvironment and the potential impacts of growth. There have been many instances during the past decade in whichGIS has been used to meet the educational and informational needs of citizensand local officials who want to ensure a strong economy and healthy environmentis planned for the future of their community. Most of these projects haveoriginated at the state level, either through the North Carolina CooperativeExtension Service, or other agencies. A number of zoning options and growth management planning measureshave recently been recommended that coastal government officials shouldconsider for promoting stewardship and protecting important natural resourceswhile continuing to maintain economic vitality. This paper focuses on theapplication of GIS for analyzing and implementing many of those strategieswith emphasis on local responsibility. In particular, the natural suitability of cluster development forCurrituck County, North Carolina, is examined with GIS. Attention to growthmanagement planning in this coastal county is critical since the populationis projected to increase over 73 percent from 1990 to 2020. GIS data layersfrom the North Carolina Center for Geographic Information and Analysis,as well as digitized Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood InsuranceRate Maps, are used to determine the extent of Primary Conservation Areasin the county. In addition, Secondary Conservation Areas are identified.
Date: 1998-01-14
Degree: MS
Discipline: Natural Resources
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2318


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