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Nearly $1 Million In Grants Awarded To Support Installation Of Multi-Function Riparian Buffers In 8 Counties By DCNR, PennVEST

On December 18, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, with funding provided by the PA Infrastructure Investment Authority, announced the award of nearly $1 million in grant funding to support installation of multi-function forested stream buffers to help keep nutrients and sediments from the land from impacting water quality.

“These projects will provide many benefits such as cleaner water and habitats, as well as generating some income to the landowners, as the streamside buffers will include species that can be harvested and sold,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said.

“Unique, innovative projects like these are exemplary of PennVEST’s continued mission to serve as financial partners for clean water efforts,” said PennVEST Executive Director Brion Johnson. “Not only do they further our water quality goals as a commonwealth, but they also provide a direct benefit to landowners who choose to invest in creative conservation efforts.”

The projects approved include multi-functional buffers. They contain species such as nut trees, berries, and willows in buffer zones so that the landowner can sell these products, and realize some income from land dedicated to buffers.

Properly planted and maintained, streamside tree and shrub plantings filter the runoff of sediments and fertilizers that are applied to lawns and crops; control erosion; slow stormwater runoff; cool stream temperatures; and improve fish habitat.

The grants by county are:

-- Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Luzerne, Northumberland, Sullivan, and Union: Native Creations Landscape Services, $754,473, for construction of approximately 77 acres of multi-functional riparian forest buffers along waterways in the Susquehanna River watershed. Work will include landowner outreach and engagement, buffer plantings, and post-planting establishment.

-- Lancaster: Earthbound Artisan LLC, $240,177, for construction of approximately 18 acres of multi-functional riparian forest buffers along waterways in the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed, Lancaster County. The work include landowner outreach and engagement, buffer plantings, and post-planting establishment.

Pennsylvania has a goal of planting 95,000 acres of stream buffers by 2025. Maintaining and restoring buffers along rivers and streams is a key strategy for improving water quality and aquatic habitat, aquatic habitat, and meeting Pennsylvania’s Total Maximum Daily Load goals in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Other Buffer Funding Opportunities

These programs are now accepting applications to support the planning or installation of riparian forested buffers--

December 30-- USDA Rural Stormwater, Water Infrastructure Funding

December 31-- OSI Delaware Watershed Protection Fund Transition & Catalyst Grants

January 3-- EXTENDED. DEP Growing Greener Plus Watershed Grants

January 15-- DCNR Begins To Accept Community Conservation Partnership Grants

January 17-- Coldwater Heritage Partnership Watershed Conservation Grants

April 1-- DEP Chesapeake Bay Farm Conservation Plan Grants

April 22-- DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Grants

Visit DCNR’s Forest Buffers Along Waterways webpage to learn more about how you can plant stream buffers to improve water quality.

Also visit the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to learn how you can help clean water grow on trees.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s efforts to meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations, visit DEP’s PA’s Chesapeake Bay Plan webpage.


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[Posted: December 19, 2019]


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