Results and AccomplishmentsThe Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), was initiated in 1998 by the city and various Federal, State and local agencies to provide incentives for installing conservation practices such as vegetated streamside buffers, fences, animal crossings, and watering systems. Through tours and other outreach efforts in the community, more than 130 farmers enrolled in CREP. These participants collectively installed 150 linear miles of streamside buffers. New York City has committed $100 million to support CREP and other programs since 1992.
The Forestry Program has assisted private forest landowners with forest stewardship practices that protect and enhance water quality and has provided training and assistance on best management practices for landowners and loggers. Since 1996, 404 forest management plans covering 73,000 acres have been completed. The USDA Forest Service has provided nearly $3.9 million in funds and technical assistance since 2002, and has supported the planting of 600 acres of riparian buffers.
It is difﬁcult to link speciﬁc improvements to site-speciﬁc efforts; however, extensive sampling in 2002 and 2003 showed that average concentrations of potential disease-causing organisms remained well below Federal limits.
Five years of monitoring water quality at one farm post-BMP implementation showed that annual phosphorous loads dropped by 30 percent. CREP-speciﬁc studies show that phosphorus loads drop by an average of 32 percent after cattle are excluded from streambanks.