Upcoming and Recent USC Projects
Project Title/Name: A Comprehensive Conservation Riparian Buffer Approach in NY
Our approach will offer fresh incentives to farmers hesitant to participate in traditional buffer programs while continuing to use conventional programs to provide a variety of cost share options.
We will 1) develop and demonstrate a flexible buffer program with innovative tools and programs to fill niches not met by traditional programs and 2) install riparian buffers, livestock exclusion, grazing and other practices through conventional programs and standards using the USC Grazing Initiative integrated approach.
Grant Award: $300,000
Project Title: An Approach for Natural Infrastructure Restoration.
Project Description: We will use aquatic habitats to locate restoration sites that also reduce sediment and nutrients. We will design three
large natural infrastructure projects. (this is a planning/design grant).
Project Abstract: We propose two tasks. One is to develop 3 designs for large-scale natural infrastructure projects that will have significant flood water storage, nutrient and sediment reductions and increased habit acreage and
quality. These projects are excellent examples of how, over time, the natural landscape has been
modified and reduced in functions and services while still looking “natural”. We hope to begin the
process to analyze rural landscapes and find sites that can be restored to a more functional, natural state
that does not require “maintenance” Our second task is to use key species habitats to locate specific sites, when restored, will not only provide excellent habitat for one
or more species on our list but also reduce sediment ant nutrient loading. Because many of the BMPs
needed to rehabilitate a site are tried and true sediment/nutrient reduction practices (e.g., riparian buffers)
we believe this cross-cutting approach will be an effective way to combine biological with pollutant
Grant Award Amount: $80,500
NYS CFA: Wetland Construction and Floodplain Enhancement
The Upper Susquehanna Coalition (USC) of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, through Tioga County SWCD, received a NYS CFA grant for the Southern Tier to construct 120 acres of wetlands and remove 48,000 feet of streamside berms to reconnect the streams to their floodplainsWetlands will be constructed on NY State lands in partnership with NYS DEC foresters who are presently completing on such a project with USC Biologists under another grant. This highly successful venture will help attenuate floods, improve water quality and diversify habitat. The berm removal component will target counties recently impacted by Tropical Storm Lee; it will provide high stream flows during major storms access to the floodplain, where the damaging power of concentrated stream flow will be attenuated. With the advent of continuing climate change and larger, more frequent rainfall events there is need to ensure watersheds can function correctly by implementing projects that address stormwater by "slowing it down, spreading it out and soaking it in".
Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development
Board- has been awarded funds and a 2 year
contract to develop a Susquehanna Chemung Action
Plan: An Ecosystem Based Management Plan for the
Susquehanna and Chemung Basins of New York. This
grant includes funds for monitoring and data collection.
The USC voted to join Chesapeake Bay Coalition and to participate in the Choose Clean Water Campaign. Choose Clean Water, a campaign for the Chesapeake and all of its waters, will seek federal leadership to improve water quality in the hundreds of streams and rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay Coalition and the members of its non-profit organizations will work with both the federal government and local communities of the 53 members of Congress that represent the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) was started by 2 teachers to provide a program to students teaching hands on analysis of streams. The program focuses on middle school students monitoring chemistry, biology, and flow components of streams within walking distance of schools. The program spreads interest and capabilities of water quality monitoring. IWLA would like to expand programmatically and geographically to partner with the Upper Susquehanna Coalition and start monitoring before, during, and after a restoration effort in USC projects.