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Water Resources Stewardship

Riparian Conservation

The riparian area is the zone of transition between land and water. A healthy riparian area is vegetated with appropriate native plants and is essential for stream health and water quality.


When people live or farm close to streams, vegetation in riparian areas is commonly disturbed or removed. This disturbance quickly begins to unravel the delicate balance that once existed between soil, water, plants, and animals. Stream banks quickly become destabilized, streams become silted and warm, invasive plant species begin to colonize, and riparian-dependent wildlife disappears.


The goal of ClearWater’s Riparian Conservation Program is to improve stream quality throughout Central Pennsylvania through the program’s four areas of focus: stream assessment, stewardship, restoration, and protection. The program educates streamside landowners on the role of vegetated buffers, restores streamside buffers with native trees and shrubs, and permanently protects riparian areas through conservation easements.

Recent Restoration Stories

Watershed Cleanup Day

Every April, ClearWater Conservancy celebrates Earth Day with Watershed Cleanup Day, a fun and positive way to combat littering and illegal dumping in and around the region's waterways. Each year, over 500 volunteers work together for hours to clear and properly dispose of trash from roadsides, parks, streams, and sinkholes. Over 6 million pounds of trash have been cleared since 1997! This event is made possible every year thanks to a partnership between ClearWater Conservancy, Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority, and the main funders of the event, the MS4 Partners (State College Borough, College, Ferguson, Harris, and Patton Townships; and Penn State. 


Interested in learning more about putting a buffer on your property to prevent pollution from entering your waterway and stabilize stream banks? You'll want to speak with Jennifer, Riparian Program Manager.

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