Riparian and Forested Buffers
|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.