The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance Agricultural Shoreland Initiative
Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA), a nine County/SWCD JPO has identified buffers as a basin priority. This initiative will work towards the goal of identifying all DNR protected shoreland in the GBERBA counties without a 50 foot vegetative buffer.
Buffer strips protect surface and groundwater from a multitude of pollutants. During stormwater run off events buffers can remove between 50 and 100 percent of nutrients, pesticides, pathogens, and sediment. The estimated sediment reduction for this project is 756 tons per year prevented from entering our waters. Buffers also mitigate flooding potential, improve aquatic and upland habitat, and stabilize streambanks.
A subwatershed was selected in each county as a priority area to begin the work. The first step will be the mapping of the shoreland areas. Local SWCD and County staff will do the field verification of the mapping data. These selected watersheds will also be the areas of focus for the incentive dollars. The landowners in the selected priority watersheds will be eligible for a onetime $400.00 payment per acre of new buffer. The incentives would only be available for the first 50 feet of a newly installed buffer on cropland. Landowners will be encouraged to sign up wider areas but any width beyond 50 feet will not be eligible for our incentive.
Buffers installed through programs such as CRP, RIM, CSP, EQIP and other state and federal programs will follow program guidelines. Other initiative programs could promote the use of third crops for harvest or biomass opportunities.