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Remote Sensing Technologies

Aerial remote sensing technologies, including very low frequency and conductivity techniques, were applied in the rapid and comprehensive characterization and assessment of three watersheds in Western Pennsylvania: the Lower Youghiogheny River, the Sewickley Creek watershed, and the Peters Creek watershed. Information related to pollution sources and pollution transport pathways obtained through these remote sensing technologies will be used to focus additional land-based characterization and validation efforts. The information generated using both aerial and land-based methodologies will be used to develop focused restoration plans for three watersheds. Pollution prevention opportunities, such as the application of grouting, to reduce the impact of subsurface pollution transport pathways will also be explored.

A multi-watershed and consortium approach was used in this effort. The intent was to apply consistent, systematic and objective approaches across a large (e.g., regional) scale in support of collecting and analyzing assessment information and in developing restoration plans. Additionally , it was to promote coalitions among watershed groups in order to benefit from synergistic activities, especially in the educational and outreach areas.

Thermal Image

Due to the inherent speed of aerial sensing techniques, the project provided an assessment of the Lower Youghiogheny River, the entire Sewickley Creek watershed and the entire Peters Creek watershed. The overall objective was to develop targeted watershed restoration plans for the two watersheds and one corridor located in southwestern Pennsylvania. The targeting of restoration activities within these restoration plans were accomplished by obtaining airborne remote sensing information and using this information for decision-making purposes. The Sewickley Creek Watershed Association, the Youghiogheny Trails Corp, the Peters Creek Watershed Association, as well as other watershed steward groups, partnered with the Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory and the United States Geological Survey to collect and analyze characterization data and to enable the development of three individual, but philosophically and scientifically consistent, watershed restorations plans. Other partners included the Youghiogheny River Council and Penn’s Corner Conservancy

Sewickley Creek Watershed Association P.O. Box 323 Youngwood,Pa 15697-0323
Phone: 724-610-0829
Email: scwa@sewickleycreek.com
Office: 210 Midtown Plaza 450 South Main Street Greensburg,Pa