The Chesapeake Bay is an extremely diverse ecosystem and the largest estuary in the United States that recieves freshwater from a 64,000 square mile watershed.
The USC encompasses the headwaters of the Susquehanna River and thus the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. The boundaries of the Coalition are defined as those lands and waters of the Susquehanna River upstream of Towanda PA (see map to the right). Also of importance is the fact that Towanda PA is home to a USGS gauging station that the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) uses to track flow and nutrient level coming form the Susquehanna Headwaters. These number help to calibrate the CBP “Bay Model” that generates computer simulations of nutrient and sediment loads from various portion of the Bay watershed.
Each Bay State will be given a load allocation to meet for Sediment, Nitrogen and Phosphorus. The NY Department of Environmental Conservation in partnership with the Upper Susquehanna Coalition has developed a Tributary Strategy to reduce these loads as NY's contribution to clean up the Bay. NY State's official approach is to target the highest quality practices that will help reduce its nutrients and sediment loads regardless of the geographical location. This unique approach is possible because the Upper Susquehanna