Protecting and planting trees along our streams and rivers is one of the most cost effective and best ways to reduce pollution getting into the Bay. The Alliance has partnered with a variety of state and federal agencies and private organizations to engage the public in riparian forest buffer training and plantings.
On June 19, 2014, the Alliance organized a gathering of key USDA and CREP leaders to kick-off a Riparian Forest Buffer Strategy Initiative. This meeting highlighted the unique importance of forest buffers to the Chesapeake restoration effort, the critical role of CREP in achieving restoration goals and the challenges facing CREP outreach and enrollment. Participants included USDA leadership, CREP program leads for the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service, state conservationists, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and heads of state agency partners. Since June, the Alliance has assisted and monitored progress of State Task Forces charged with the task of evaluating riparian buffer programs and CREP performance in the state, and identifying and discussing options for enhancement. The Alliance will work with a Steering Committee to finalize a report of findings from the Riparian Forest Buffer Outreach Initiative and present these findings to USDA Leadership.