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For Release: Friday, February 14, 2020

DEC Announces Second Round of Annual Trees for Tribs "Buffer in a Bag" Initiative

Application Period for Streamside Plantings Program Opens Today, Valentine's Day, Feb. 14

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that the statewide Trees for Tribs "Buffer in a Bag" application period opens Friday, Feb. 14. The Buffer in a Bag initiative is designed to increase riparian buffers statewide by engaging landowners in small-scale plantings. Qualifying private and public landowners may apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings for planting near streams, rivers, or lakes to help stabilize banks, protect water quality, and improve wildlife habitat.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Streamside plantings are critically important for decreasing erosion, slowing flood waters, and protecting fish and wildlife. These plantings are a perfect way for New Yorkers to show their love for the environment this Valentine's Day. DEC and our partners have planted more than 150,000 trees along streams, supporting Governor Cuomo's nation-leading efforts to protect water quality and our communities from flooding."

To qualify, landowners must have property in New York State with at least 50 feet that borders a stream, river, or lake, and provide photos and map coordinates of the planting location. Applicants are eligible for one bag of 25 seedlings and recipients will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. Previous recipients are encouraged to reapply to continue to build their riparian buffer. A total of 500 bags will be available statewide for this round of applications.

Trees for Tribs is a program of the Saratoga Tree Nursery and is supported by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

Governor Cuomo's proposed 2020-21 Executive Budget includes record funding for the EPF at $300 million - the highest sustained level of funding in the program's 25-year history. As part of the Governor's new $33 billion five-year plan to combat climate change (leaves DEC's website), which includes the EPF and the proposed $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, these major investments continue New York's national environmental leadership, advance essential projects to protect the state's water, air and natural resources, prevent damages from flooding and help communities capitalize on the economic returns of environmental funding.

Visit DEC's website for more information about the Buffer in a Bag application process and requirements. Applications are due by 3:00 p.m. on April 10, 2020. General questions about Buffer in a Bag may be directed to treesfortribs@dec.ny.gov. To learn more about the Trees for Tribs Program and its tree planting activities, visit DEC's website.

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