In an effort to increase the implementation of riparian buffers in New York State, the Upper Susquehanna Coalition (USC) developed a USC Buffer Program, currently funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The program seeks to offer financial and resources assistance to increase the implementation and restoration of riparian forest buffers and associated water quality BMPs in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. Input for program development was provided by federal, state and local partners on how best to complement current programs. However, funding from this program can be utilized as the sole source to implement riparian buffers. The initial goal of the program is to implement 55 acres of buffer and 300 acres of prescribed grazing.
Applications to the program from USC member Soil and Water Conservation Districts were requested early this past spring. From those applications, USC will award funding for implementing 42 acres of buffer and 390 acres of prescribed grazing. A round 2 application request should be released mid-summer 2017. Project components such as fencing, stream crossings, alternative water sources, and buffer materials will be funded using USC Buffer Program funds where current programs, such as CREP may be unable to provide financial assistance. In many instances USC Buffer Program funding has matched state and/or federal funding.