Planting and maintaining woody vegetation along streams provide a wealth of benefits. Research at the Stroud Water Center and elsewhere have shown that stream health is dependent on the presence of woody vegetation (trees and shrubs) along its banks.
When establishing forested buffers along streams, the width of that buffer will determine its function. A 50 foot wide buffer will help provide bank stability while a 250 foot wide buffer will help mitigate flooding, filter out pollutants and nutrients, and provide greater habitat for wildlife.
Planting new forested buffers has become a state priority since the early 1990s, but regulations to protect existing buffers from removal do not exist. Municipalities can adopt ordinances to protect riparian buffers from development or removal.
For more information on Riparian Forest Buffers visit:
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