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Riparian and Forested Buffers

The importance of riparian buffers! [Click to open page http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/stormwater_management/ripbuff.shtml in a new window
The importance of riparian buffers!

A riparian or forested buffer is an area along a shoreline, wetland, or stream where development is restricted or prohibited. The primary function of aquatic buffers is to physically protect and separate a stream, lake, or wetland from future disturbance or encroachment. If properly designed, a buffer can provide stormwater management, and can act as a right-of-way during floods, sustaining the integrity of stream ecosystems and habitats. As conservation areas, aquatic buffers are part aquatic ecosystem and part urban forest.


There are three types of buffers: water pollution hazard setbacks, vegetated buffers, and engineered buffers.


  • Water pollution hazard setbacks are areas separating potential pollution hazards from waterways. Such buffer setbacks reduce the potential for pollution.


  • Vegetated buffers are natural areas that divide land uses or provide landscape relief.


  • Engineered buffers are specifically designed to treat stormwater before it enters streams, lakes, or wetlands.


 Click here to learn more about reparian buffers!

The Streamside Forest Buffer [Click here to view full size picture]
The Streamside Forest Buffer
Click here to view full size picture
This page last updated on 8/13/2007.
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  
376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  

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