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.