Riparian Buffer Restoration Technical Assistance
- Southeastern Pennsylvania
The restoration of riparian buffers is one of the many ways in which Heritage Conservancy works with municipalities to advance conservation goals. Riparian buffers are vegetated areas alongside streams that provide many natural benefits, such as shading and cooling the water, trapping nutrients and sediment run-off, stabilizing riverbanks, and providing food and cover for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. With funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Heritage Conservancy assisted fifteen organizations and municipalities in replanting over 1,000 feet of riparian buffers throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Heritage Conservancy staff selected the sites and appropriate plant material, organized volunteers, conducted educational workshops and developed strategies to control invasive plants and obtain sources of funding for riparian buffer restorations.
Heritage Conservancy also developed educational presentations for municipal officials, which offered basic information on the benefits of riparian buffers and strategies to build public acceptance of these restorations. The presentations also provided recommendations on how municipalities can use buffer restorations as a tool to meet the requirements of stormwater regulatory programs, such as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II.
The technical assistance program increased organizational capacity for future buffer restoration projects and provided a starting point for continued restoration efforts by the partnering organizations.