A riparian forest buffer is an area of trees, usually accompanied by shrubs
and other vegetation, along a stream, river, or shoreline that is managed to
maintain the integrity of the waterway, to reduce pollution, and to provide food,
habitat, and thermal protection for fish and wildlife.
Provide clean water. Rain that
runs off the land carries pollutants like lawn fertilizers, chemicals, pesticides,
and sediments into the waterway. Forest buffers slow and filter nutrients and
sediments out of stormwater before they reach the waterway. Also forest stabilize
floodplains, reducing erosion.
Attracts and protects Fish and Wildlife.
The cool stream temperatures maintained by riparian trees are essential for the
survival of many fish and other aquatic species. Leaves and fallen logs and branches
provide food and habitat for many organisms. Forest also attracts birds and wildlife,
providing important habitat and migration corridors for many species.
Lowers home maintenance costs. Trees can
reduce summer cooling costs for buildings by 15-50%, winter heating costs by as much
as 20%. The forests may increase the property value by 10-15%.
Improves the quality of life. It blocks
out noise pollution, enhance privacy.