Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM)
GCSWCD staff are available to help farmers interested in participating in the Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program. This state program was designed to enhance farm operations while protecting natural resources. As part of the program, staff evaluate current agricultural practices, offer conservations plans to address concerns, and connect the farm with available financial or technical assistance. Participation in AEM is a requirement for NYS Grown & Certified. To learn more about AEM, visit: https://agriculture.ny.gov/soil-and-water/agricultural-environmental-management
Catskill Streams Buffer Initiative (CSBI)
Are you a landowner with streamside property located within the Schoharie Reservoir watershed? If so, are you interested in improving the wildlife habitat within your streamside area and protecting your streambanks from erosion during future storm events?
The Catskill Streams Buffer Initiative at GCSWCD is a cost-free streamside planting program that may be able to help.
Landowners that participate in the CSBI program work with our knowledgeable staff to develop an individualized planting plan to enhance or restore their streamside area, known as the riparian buffer zone, with native trees and flowering shrubs.
Why should landowners participate? Riparian buffers function as an integral part of the stream ecosystem. There are many benefits to creating or increasing the size of a riparian buffer along a stream. Some of these examples include:
• Streambank stabilization
• Increased wildlife habitat to attract birds and pollinators
• Improved water quality
• Flood resiliency
No stream is too small or too large to benefit from a riparian buffer.
Riparian buffers come in all shapes and sizes and we work with each CSBI participant to determine the best fit for their streamside property. An ideal riparian buffer planting begins at the water’s edge and has an average width of 50 to 100 feet to provide maximum benefits.
Landowners can help restore and protect riparian buffers, which in turn restore and protect the quality of our streams.