Satellite Data

   Strengths of Satellite Data:

  • Covers large, continuous areas

  • Assesses riparian intactness at a watershed or regional level

  • Assesses upland pressure on riparian areas

  • Allows for comparisons between water bodies or watersheds

  • Prioritizes restoration and conservation efforts when intactness is paired with upland pressure on riparian areas

To see photo examples of each of the Intactness categories, click here:

Vegetation present. 
Little or no human footprint.

Vegetation present. Some human footprint.

Vegetation limited. Human footprint prevalent.

Vegetation mostly cleared. Human footprint dominant.


Satellite Data is a newer method which has become more common since 2015. Riparian Intactness measures the extent to which natural habitat has been altered or impaired by human activity and uses 3 metrics to look at the amount of:

  • Natural vegetation

  • Woody vegetation 

  • Human footprint or impact

in that area


Outcomes of Satellite data work:

  • Creates a starting point to observe widescale riparian changes over time

  • Identifies riparian areas that need extra attention due to human impacts

  • Provides watershed-scale guidance to municipal and Non-profit programs that support landowners  

  • Provides recommendations to landowners which should always be paired with on-the-ground assessment results.