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Upcoming and Recent USC Projects

Project Title/Name: USC Cover Crop Implementation Project

Project Description: This funding from NYS DEC is to support implementation of  2,000 new acres of Cover Crops throughout the watershed. Funding amount was $200,000 for 2017, with successful implementation of 2,494.3 new acres of cover crops across 10 counties. USC anticipates continued funding opportunities in 2018.

USC Cover Crop Implementation Project Summary

Project Title/Name: NRCS and USC Contribution Agreement for CREP buffer plans.

Project Description: The purpose of this agreement is to provide funding to SWCDs to develop CREP conservation plans in the Upper Susquehanna River Watershed.  The agreement is for the development of 40 conservation plans focusing on CP 22 and CP 29.

An agreement extension is anticipated to provide this funding until 6/2018.

Project Title/Name: Coordination of the DEC’s Trees for Tributaries Program in the Upper Susquehanna Watershed

Project Description: The goal of New York State’s Trees for Tributaries Program is to reforest tributaries of New York by providing free or low cost plant stock and materials throughout the state.  Currently, the USC Buffer Coordinator submits plant and material requests to the DEC by December for Spring projects within the Susquehanna Watershed.  The USC Buffer Coordinator also coordinates supply delivery and project implementation.  USC member SWCDs can participate by submitting plant and material requests to the USC Buffer Coordinator by December for planned projects.

Project Title/Name: Assessment and Maintenance of Riparian Forest Buffers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Project Description: This funding from NYS DEC is to support USC member district personnel to perform riparian forest buffer site assessments, facilitate maintenance projects and provide outreach relating to riparian forest buffer management.  Funds can support supplies and contractors for maintenance activities.

Funding expires September, 2018.

Project Title/Name: USC Buffer Program - PILOT

Project Description: The USC Comprehensive Riparian Buffer Program, funded through NFWF, seeks to offer financial compensation and resource assistance (planning, design and plant material) to increase the implementation and restoration of riparian forest buffers and associated water quality BMPs through conventional, as well as new programs.  All projects require the implementation or restoration of a riparian buffer to be eligible for Buffer Program funding. Implementation of riparian forest buffers at least 35’ in width for streambank stabilization and/or pasture system development are priorities for this funding, however, all projects will be considered; applications will be ranked and funded according to the ranking criteria below.  A USC staff site visit is required prior to award confirmation.

Round 2 of application requests is anticipated for late summer 2017.

Project Title/Name: A Comprehensive Conservation Riparian Buffer Approach in NY

Project Description: 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 objectives.

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".


Stream Program Projects

21 members of the Upper Susquehanna Coalition and partners attended a three day training geared towards developing Coalition member capacity in addressing watershed and stream resource management issues.  The first day of training provided methodology for developing watershed background reports and assessment methodologies to provide tools in determining how best to approach watershed problems and issues.  Additionally, participants were exposed to morphological features of different stream types to help determine the relative and comparative "health or stability" of the stream.  The second day of the training focused on field data collection and work up to verify those "morphological" features and how they relate to visual inspections.  The third day was spent introducing evaluation and predictive tools and utilizing them in the field.

The three day training is the first in a series of training events sponsored by the USC to create a group of individuals that can assist communities in better addressing stream channel and watershed management challenges in the region.





















Upper Susquehanna Coalition
Main Office: 183 Corporate Drive - Owego, NY 13827 - (607) 687-3553
Coordinator: Wendy Walsh - 183 Corporate Drive - Owego, NY 13827 - (607) 687-3553 wwalsh@u-s-c.org