What is Stream Wise?
Stream Wise, launched in 2022 by the Lake Champlain Basin Program, is an initiative designed to inform and engage streamside landowners in protecting and planting native vegetated buffers on their properties to increase stream health, wildlife habitat, and flood resiliency in their local communities. They partner with local organizations to connect with landowners across the Lake Champlain Basin.
How AsRA is involved
The Ausable River Association was a pilot partner for Stream Wise in New York in 2022, and we are excited to bring this program to the community for a second year. As a partner, we conduct outreach, perform site assessments, provide targeted recommendations, technical assistance, and give a Stream Wise Award for Best Management Practices in a Vegetated Stream Buffer. We primarily provide assessments within the Ausable and Boquet watersheds. Use the Lake Champlain Basin Boundary Map to find your watershed.
During the assessments, we are looking at the buffer width, vegetation tiers, native vs invasive species, and management practices within the buffer. If a buffer meets the criteria provided by Stream Wise, a Stream Wise Award is given. If the criteria are not met, recommendations are provided to the landowner for ways to improve their buffer to help protect the stream.
Stream Wise awards and recognizes private landowners that maintain wide buffers of native plants along the sections of the rivers and streams that they own to foster stream health and resiliency throughout the Lake Champlain basin, in rural, suburban, and urban areas. If you want someone to come check out your streamside buffer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your interest and include what town you live in and what stream or river is on or adjacent to your property. We will follow up with next steps.