Prairie Coteau Watershed Improvement & Protection Project


Riparian Area Management

Riparian Buffer
Before Riparian Buffer Protection
After Riparian Buffer Protection

Riparian buffers located along shorelines and stream banks can prevent soil erosion, improve water quality by removing sediments, fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants from runoff; and enhance fish and wildlife habitat. A riparian buffer is a strip of undisturbed vegetation from 20 to 120 feet wide located between a water body and either cropland or pasture. On pastureland, riparian buffers will be fenced to exclude livestock from the adjacent waterbody.


Financial incentives for protecting riparian buffers can be obtained though USDA's Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) and the Riparian Area Mgt. Program (RAM). CCRP will pay the producer an annual rental rate based on the number of acres enrolled for either a ten or fifteen year contract. The RAM program will pay for additional acres of buffers or enroll acres ineligible for CCRP.  Both CCRP and RAM programs will provide cost share for water development including tanks, pipelines, wells etc. For more information download the fact sheets shown to the left.