Ongoing Actions

  • Renewing and maintaining leadership at the state and Partnership level, especially to support implementing state Riparian Forest Buffer Action Strategies to boost enrollment in riparian forest buffer programs.
  • Increasing the effectiveness of landowner education on riparian forest buffer establishment and maintenance.
  • Building capacity and improving equity in staff, contractors, and outreach.
  • Expanding awareness of reduced mowing, riparian forest buffer and tree planting programs among non-agricultural landowners (e.g., federal or public land managers, schools, golf courses).
  • Developing and implementing flexible programs with innovative financing and comprehensive services (e.g., planning, planting, maintenance).
  • Working on policies to maintain and increase riparian forest buffers on landscape.
  • Increasing demand for riparian forest buffers on all lands by leveraging relevant, complementary programs.
  • Improving training and support networks for technical assistance providers.
  • Developing communication and outreach plans for riparian forest buffers, tree canopy, and land use change products.
  • Using new data and tools to improve strategic planning, climate resilience, equitable and effective buffer delivery, and reporting.

Completed Actions

January-December 2022

  • Convened the Chesapeake Riparian Forest Buffer 2022 Leadership Workshop and organized two pre-workshop webinars and a pre-workshop synthesis effort
  • Developed high-level Action Strategies in each jurisdiction to help focus and coordinate riparian forest buffers efforts.

January December 2021

  • Continued to convene riparian forest buffer task forces or coordinating bodies in states where goals are regularly not being met.
  • Improved riparian forest buffers verification by working with states on reporting and extending the credit duration of forest buffers in the model to 15 years.

January December 2017

  • In some states, used Farm Service Agency funds to augment the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program for riparian forest buffers.
  • Used limited Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant funding for the establishment of riparian forest buffers on urban lands.
  • Accessed additional financial assistance and leveraging additional conservation programs and sources of funds for riparian forest buffer programs.
  • Funded local tree planting and forest conservation efforts.
  • Used the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program Comprehensive Watershed-Scale Restoration in Dairy and Livestock Landscapes of the Chesapeake Bay award to accelerate riparian forest buffer implementation.
  • Increased staffing levels in some states to provide more technical assistance related to riparian forest buffers.
  • Improved the tracking and spending of technical assistance funds.
  • Engaged landowners in riparian forest buffer planting, aligned riparian forest buffer programs with related work and funding sources, and planned for new riparian forest buffers.
  • Increased connections of riparian forest buffers with the Agriculture Conservation Partnership Program.
  • Suggested language standards for riparian forest buffer easements.
  • Targeted outreach to Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program participants during the last one to two years of their contracts.
  • Worked with local groups to expand tree planting programs.
  • Contacted landowners with expiring contracts.
  • Shared local success stories that demonstrate the role of riparian forest buffers in improving environmental health.
  • Supported policies that advance riparian forest buffer programs.
  • Analyzed the effectiveness of policies that preserve riparian forest buffers and determined the need for enforcement.
  • Supported state leads and other partners in the prioritization of funding for riparian forest buffers and the achievement of their riparian forest buffer goals.
  • Used Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program targeting tools as well as water quality, brook trout and demographic targeting tools to determine high-priority reforestation areas.
  • Strengthened inter-organizational operations for reporting and verifying riparian forest buffers as a best management practice.
  • Evaluated state protocol for verifying riparian forest buffers as a best management practice.
  • Worked with federal, state and local program managers to integrate riparian forest buffer and urban tree canopy targets into the implementation of stormwater programs related to TMDL, WIP and MS4 regulations.
  • Evaluated the effectiveness of riparian forest buffer plantings, determining tree planting mortality and securing additional planting stock to correct planting failures.
  • Evaluated the effectiveness of the riparian forest buffer establishment period and recommended needed changes.
  • Inserted tips on riparian forest buffer maintenance into conservation plans, contracts and other information for landowners.

July December 2016

  • Made the pre-establishment care of riparian forest buffers easier for landowners by finding additional funding for weed suppression.
  • Surveyed recent National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grantees to determine the extent of riparian forest buffer versus grassed buffer implementation.
  • Sought riparian forest buffer liaisons within farming communities.
  • Examined the effectiveness of annual riparian forest buffer maintenance payments and determine if payment rate is appropriate.
  • Developed a model to determine the situational likelihood that landowners not re-enrolling in a riparian forest buffer program maintain their forest buffer.