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Chowan River Basin - Riparian Shoreline Assessment - Description and Disclaimer

The Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Program (CCI) at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has applied a protocol developed for surveying shoreline conditions in Virginia and Maryland to the tidal portion of the Chowan River basin. The protocol includes a method for collecting, classifying, mapping, and reporting conditions to assess riparian shorelines. The Chowan River Riparian Shoreline Assessment is intended to provide data to assist with land use and shoreline management. The effort on the Chowan is the first initiative in North Carolina that uses this protocol. The protocol has been applied to all tidal shoreline in Maryland and is in progress in Virginia.

The data inventory developed for the shoreline assessment is based on a three-tiered shoreline assessment approach. In most cases this assessment characterizes conditions that can be observed from a small boat navigating along the shoreline. Hand-held GPS units are used to log features observed. The three tiered shoreline assessment approach divides the shorezone into three regions: 1) the immediate riparian zone, evaluated for land use; 2) the bank, evaluated for height, stability, cover and natural protection; and 3) the shoreline, describing the presence of shoreline structures for shore protection and recreational purposes. Three GIS coverages are generated. The chowan_lubc coverage are features related to the land use in the riparian zone, and conditions at the bank. The chowan_sstru coverage includes information pertaining to structures for shoreline defense. Finally, chowan_astru identifies structures that are typically built for access and recreational activities at the shore. They can be downloaded from this site through links at the bottom of this page. A metadata file is provided to describe each coverage.

GIS coverages are developed from the GPS data sets collected in the field. The coverages use a shoreline base map generated in-house from digital orthophotography (DOQQs). The base shoreline is re-coded to reflect features and attributes observed in the field. The metadata file that accompanies the coverages defines attribute accuracy, data development, and any use restrictions that pertain to the data. When downloading data from this site, the users agree to all conditions outlined in the disclaimer below.

This report is published entirely in digital format. Below, a text report includes an outline of methods. Color maps illustrate the conditions surveyed. Tables quantify data on a plate by plate basis. An inventory of digital images collected during the survey are posted and refer to photographic annotations on the maps.


These data are a product of the Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Program. The project was funded through a grant with the Albermarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (APNEP).

Disclaimer for Digital Shoreline Situation Report (SSR) Coverages

The Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Program (CCI) provides these data with the understanding that it is not guaranteed to be correct or complete, and conclusions drawn from the data set are the sole responsibility of the user.

Every attempt has been made to ensure that these data and the documentation are reliable and accurate. Neither CCI, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), nor APNEP assume liability for any damages caused by inaccuracies in the data or documentation, or as a result of failure of the data to perform in a particular manner. CCI and VIMS make no warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or utility of this information, nor does the fact of distribution constitute a warranty.

Individuals who download these data agree to the following, and understand the limitations defined:

Integration of these data into other products requires proper citation. Proper citation for this dataset is: "Berman, M.R., Berquist, H., Havens, K., Hershner, C., Killeen, S., Nunez, K., Reay, K., Rudnicky, T., and D. Weiss. 2006. Chowan River Riparian Shoreline Assessment, final project report to the Albermarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program.

Use of these data in map publications, either digital or hardcopy, requires proper citation, and inclusion of the CCI logo (see CCI logo), and the APNEP logo (see APNEP logo).

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  • CCI is not responsible for misuse of these data.

  • CCI does not oversee or assume responsibility for alterations to this product by users.

  • CCI may not address specific questions from users who received the data through another party.

  • Distribution of these data is not restricted. CCI, however, recommends metadata
    file(s) always remain with the data.

  • CCI encourages noticeable errors be reported to CCI contact person identified in the metadata file.