CSBI Program Accepting Applications

Posted on: December 5th, 2016 by Leslie_Zucker
A restored stream buffer along Birch Creek in the Ashokan Watershed.

A restored stream buffer along Birch Creek in the Ashokan Watershed.

The Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI) works close­ly with landown­ers to restore or enhance stream buffers on their prop­er­ty. Once a landown­er is accept­ed into the pro­gram, CSBI will remove inva­sive plants from stream­side areas, and pro­vide and install native plants based on a plan devel­oped with the landowner.

This past year, the CSBI pro­gram worked with Men­la Moun­tain House, the Catskill Inter­pre­tive Cen­ter, and oth­er prop­er­ty own­ers to restore Catskill trees and shrubs along streams. The ben­e­fits of veg­e­tat­ed stream buffers are numer­ous. Plants can buffer streams from pol­lu­tants run­ning off near­by lands or roads. Stream buffers help to sta­bi­lize stream banks, shade and cool stream water, and pro­vide nutri­ents and habi­tat for fish and aquat­ic insects.

To par­tic­i­pate in the CSBI pro­gram, landown­ers need only call the AWSMP office at (845) 688‑3047 x3 or email Bob­by Tay­lor to sched­ule a site vis­it and dis­cuss whether the CSBI pro­gram is right for your site. Landown­ers can also down­load an appli­ca­tion and apply direct­ly to the CSBI pro­gram now. Click here to be direct­ed to the appli­ca­tion on the CSBI website.

If you are unable to par­tic­i­pate in a stream buffer restora­tion project, you can still have a large impact by pre­serv­ing healthy stream­side areas already pop­u­lat­ed by native plants. Main­tain­ing stream buffers ensures that native fish and wildlife don’t suf­fer from loss of habi­tat, and aren’t harmed by poor water quality.

Here are some things you can do as a landown­er to pro­tect stream buffers:

  • Main­tain no-mow and no-cut zones along your stream banks. Estab­lish native herba­ceous plants, or trees and shrubs that pro­vide excel­lent bank armor­ing with root sys­tems that min­i­mize ero­sion and pro­vide impor­tant habi­tat and resources for wildlife.
  • Iden­ti­fy and remove inva­sive plants as soon as you notice them. Small stands of inva­sive plants are eas­i­er to erad­i­cate than larg­er, estab­lished stands. Make sure to prop­er­ly dis­pose of all removed plant mate­r­i­al to ensure the plants can’t spread fur­ther. For help with iden­ti­fy­ing inva­sive plants, see this guide on Com­mon Inva­sive Species of Catskill Ripar­i­an Areas.
  • Help edu­cate oth­er com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and stream­side landown­ers about the impor­tance of stream buffers and how to main­tain them.