Evaluating the Effects of Watershed-Scale Agricultural Best Management Practices on Water Quality

800 532 Stroud Water Research Center

In early 2020, stream bank fencing, forested buffers, and barnyard improvements were installed on Amish farms in Lancaster County, Pa. The farms are nested in a small watershed drained by a heavily impaired headwater stream. This project is monitoring stream nutrient and sediment loads before, during, and after the implementation of the best management practices to detect changes in water quality due to these efforts.

This effort is unique for two main reasons: first, the farmland extends over the watershed area almost entirely (a scenario that is hard to find in the landscape) and provides an opportunity to more accurately capture the effects of the restoration; and second, the monitoring will start prior to the implementation, which is often hard to achieve.

Funded by:

  • 2022: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
  • 2020–2021: Stroud Water Research Center

Principal Investigators

Collaborator: Lamonte Garber

Project Years: 2020, 2021, 2022

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