Riparian buffers, natural or planted vegetation areas adjacent to bodies of water, reduce storm and polluted water runoff, excessive sedimentation and erosion, and help recharge groundwater.

Water quality in ponds, lakes, and rivers can be adversely impacted if developments encroach too closely to shorelines and stream banks.

Riparian buffers are a minimum of 30 meters (100 feet) wide and extend:

  • A minimum of 7.5 to 15 meters (25 to 50 feet) into the water, and
  • A minimum of 15 to 30 meters (50 to 100 feet) from the water’s edge onto the land.

The slope of the riparian buffer should be less than 5% and increase in width as the slope increases. The wider the buffer, the better it will function.