© Chesapeake Bay Program (Chesapeake)

Farmland Preservation Capacity - Chesapeake Bay Watershed


This map depicts one aspect of the capacity to conserve important resource lands, in this case farmland preservation capacity.

Data Layer Description


Chesapeake Conservation Partnership


Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.


Preserving farmland to support working farms and food supply has long been a focus of conservation efforts in many portions of the Chesapeake watershed. And those efforts have been remarkably successful. For example, since 1989 the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program has protected more than 500,000 acres  on over 4,700 farms.

Where is the capacity to support future farmland conservation? How is it concentrated? What does this suggest about where future farmland protection might be most likely or most effective?

This map illustrates where capacity for implementing farmland protection currently exists, based on past accomplishments.

Specifically, this depicts the relative magnitude of farmland that has been protected by county. Darker shading means a higher proportion of existing farmland has already been protected. Preparing this map involved using a dataset of existing farmed lands (both prime and not prime) and determining what proportion of those in each county are currently protected based on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Protected Lands Dataset. This includes farm lands protected by specific farmland preservation programs as well as other entities.

How to get the data layer

Contact Jeff Allenby, Chesapeake Conservancy,

How you might make use of this data layer

This dataset informs where the potential for future farmland preservation may lie based on past accomplishments in protecting farmland.

How to get more information

For more information about the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership contact: John Griffin, Program Manager,

Access and use constraints

Attribution No Derivatives (BY-ND)



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