Improving Streams and Rivers in PA, an Acre
at a Time
19, 2013- Tom Joseph
HARRISBURG- Nearly 40 miles of streams in the
northern part of the state are cleaner, thanks to farmers and a concern about
the health of their land and the streams and rivers around them.
Eisenbise, Pennsylvania Watershed manager for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation
(CBF), says farmers in five northern counties have planted native trees, bushes
and other plants along 36 miles of streamside farmland, creating forested
buffers that will help to reduce pollution, among other things.
provides shade on the stream, which is good for the critters living in the
stream, from the insects to also the fish that live in there," she
explains. "But it also helps clean the water, prevents pollution from
getting into the stream and also helps the stream function as a whole to provide
water quality for all of us."
says the impact isn't just local - that the forested buffers established on
these headwaters to the Susquehanna River have an effect on Chesapeake Bay,
some 400 miles away.
adds the work is funded by a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant and through
CBF's Buffer Bonus Program.
who choose to install a 35-foot forested buffer get an incentive payment,
essentially a bonus for doing their conservation work that they can then put
back into the farm to invest in other conservation practices to help their farming
operations," she explains.
says the work helps farmers meet pollution-reduction goals laid out in the
state's Clean Water Blueprint, while at the same time improving farm
are really the ultimate stewards of our land," she says. "They want
to see the soil staying on their farms, they want to see the manure being put
to good use. So as much as they can do that in an economical way, and that's
what this program helps them do, it's a huge benefit."