In much of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, dairy farming is an essential component of our economy and a source of wholesome local food. That’s why we’re working with farmers to improve water quality and reduce the environmental impacts of dairy farms.
Over the next 8 months, we have a goal to plant 15,000 trees on over 25 local farms.
Learn more about the benefits of planting trees, why we’re planting them on local farms, and how you can get involved.
Streamside forests, known as riparian forest buffers are one of the most effective ways to protect our streams. When it rains on our lawns, roads, and parking lots, harmful pollutants like fertilizers, oil, pet waste, and litter are carried downstream. Riparian forest buffers act as shields by filtering stormwater and preventing pollutants from entering our waterways. As young trees grow, they also stabilize the stream bank, create shade for the creek, regulate water flow during rain storms, and provide habitat for wildlife in and around the creek.
Farms account for over 20% of the land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and over 40% of the nitrogen pollution, making them a perfect setting to establish new riparian forest buffers. Dairy farmers rely on the long-term sustainability of their land in order to maintain a successful business. It’s hard to find someone who cares about the health of their land as much as a farmer does. They’re a major player in the path to cleaner water in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed is a critical resource for recreation, industry, seafood, agriculture, and tourism. It’s home to over 19 million people who rely on it for drinking water and 3,600 species of plants and animals who need it to survive.
The Chesapeake Bay watershed has a land-to-water ratio of 14:1, the largest of any coastal water body in the world. Over 100,000 streams and rivers flow through 6 states plus the District of Columbia as the water makes its way to the Bay. As these waters wind their way through over 64,000 square miles of forest, fields, and communities, they supply drinking water to more than 13 million people.
It’s critical that we work together to plant trees, restore streams and rivers, enhance healthy forests, and protect our valuable resources while simultaneously enhancing the long-term sustainability of one of our region’s most important industries.
Founded in 1971, the Alliance has been working to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed for over 50 years. With just over 50 team members, we’re known as the nimble, boots-on-the-ground team, working hard to make a real difference for our local communities.
Meet the Team
The Alliance works alongside agricultural supply chain corporations and its farm providers to accelerate conservation efforts throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Our approach allows farms to remain sustainable while elevating environmental standards throughout the agricultural industry.
The first few years of a tree’s life are critical as they face threats from floods, deer, voles, and disease. That’s why every tree planted by the Alliance spends three years under the watchful eyes of our dedicated staff and volunteers. We strive for 100% success in our buffers!
More About Maintenance
There are many ways you can support this great work and help improve the lands and waters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Click through the slider below to see all the ways you can get involved.
It’s clear that planting trees along our local streams and rivers is an effective way to improve water quality. While riparian forest buffers are one of the most efficient conservation practices, our goal to plant and maintain 15,000 trees in the next 8 months will cost roughly $375,000!
We need YOU to help us plant more trees for clean water across our Chesapeake watershed.
$25 can plant one tree
$250 can help plant 10 trees
$1,250 can create a ¼-acre buffer
$5,000 can create a 1-acre buffer