Watershed Restoration: A Shared Public and Private Investment

“Best Management Walk and Talk Session” hosted by the Stroud Center and Berks County Conservation District. Photo: Lamonte Garber

Study after study has shown that preventing pollution at its source is considerably cheaper and more effective than treating problems downstream. Helping landowners make needed improvements takes a combination of outreach, discussion, flexibility, and patience. But no amount of goodwill can surmount gaps in financing and technical knowledge, even where landowners are willing to commit their own dollars to projects that help downstream landowners and water supplies.

Stroud™ Water Research Center’s Watershed Restoration Group taps a wide range of public and private funds to help landowners afford projects that can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars, and often more.

Programs offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture provide the foundation for many of our restoration projects. It’s an “alphabet soup” of programs and acronyms, and we help landowners secure the best program funding to suit their farms and properties. One such program deserves special mention is USDA’s Resource Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The Stroud Center and many partner groups and agencies have secured over $20 million dollars through RCPP to support agriculture conservation and restoration projects on farms in the Delaware and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.