Susquehanna-Chemung Action Plan -- Streams and Rivers

An Ecosystem-Based Watershed Management Plan
for the
Susquehanna and Chemung Basins of New York

Water connects us all...

Live in harmony with streams.

  • Conserve, protect, and enhance stream and river systems so that the channels and floodplains provide beneficial functions for habitat, flood damage prevention, and water quality.
  • Maintain and restore the connections between streams and their floodplains.
  • Use science-based practices when stream systems are disturbed by roads, bridges, pipelines, post-flood stream work, or other projects.


Section 4: Streams and Rivers

GIS Viewer



Good Resources
Stream Processes:  A Guide to Living in Harmony with Streams
Illustrated booklet promotes improved understanding of natural stream processes and the impacts of human intervention.
NYS Protection of Waters Program
A permit from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is required for activities that disturb "protected streams." Website provides information about this regulatory program, stream classifications (with a link to an interactive map), stream crossings, and ponds.
NYS Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
Program reduces pollution in streams by helping agricultural landowners voluntarily plant vegetation on streambanks. Outreach materials include fact sheets about the many valuable functions of riparian areas.
Forest Buffer Restoration Goals for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Chesapeake Bay Program partners have been working since 1996 to restore forest buffers along stream banks throughout the Bay watershed to improve the health of local streams and provide downstream benefits to the Chesapeake Bay.  To support these goals, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has developed a number of publications about riparian forest buffers.
Trees for Tribs Initiative
This Hudson Valley program promotes planting of native trees and shrubs along streams.
Managing the Water's Edge:  Making Natural Connections
User-friendly guide assists with protecting riparian (streamside) corridors for multiple functions.
"The Active River Area:  A Conservation Framework for Protecting Rivers and Streams"
Publication by The Nature Conservancy presents a framwork for protecting, managing, and resoring stream and river functions based on the "active river area" within which those processes occur.
Vermont River Management Program
This program protects land adjacent to Vermont's rivers and reduces erosion damage by restricting development in erosion hazard areas, purchasing river corridor easements, and implementing river restoration projects.
American Heritage Rivers Initiative
In 1998, Executive Order 13061 established the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, which provides resources and assistance to 14 Heritage Rivers and their tributaries.
US Geological Survey StreamStats
Online tool enables estimation of stream flow statistics and other watershed characteristics.
Tompkins County Model Stream Buffer Ordiance, Riparian Buffer Protection Agreement, and Stream Buffer Easement
Tompkins County is developing templates that municipalities can use to prevent new development adjacent to streams and protect the natural functions of stream buffers (not yet available).


By allowing a stream to utilize its floodplain and its tendency to meander as much as practical, we can effectively reduce many of the flooding and erosion problems associated with streams.

- from Stream Processes:  A Guide to Living in Harmony with Streams


Learn More

Additional information, references, and recommended actions may be added to these page as the plan is implemented and updated. If you would like to get involved and share resources or suggestions, please contact a member of the ad hoc Advisory Committee or STC staff, Chelsea Robertson (; 607-962-5092). Learn more about the Suquehanna-Chemung Action Plan by selecting issues from the menu on the left. Other resources include a Project Summary handout, information about Ecosystem-Based Management, and a document library with minutes and other information.


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