Buffer strips are areas of land where there is permanent vegetation adjacent to a watercourse or water body. Vegetated buffers can:
- provide food and habitat for animals;
- filter nutrients and contaminants;
- provide shade (reduces algae growth and moderates temperature), and
- prevent erosion.
Shrubs, such as red osier dogwood, shrub willow, and staghorn sumac grow quickly and can also help to stabilize banks. Tree species that do well in moist areas include: black willow, cedar, red and silver maple, tamarack and black spruce. CVC has tree planting programs that can help you enhance, manage or protect the buffers on your property.
Sometimes buffers are removed for the purposes of access, aesthetics or to maximize cropland. This exposes the water body to harmful impacts and can have legal implications if neighbouring properties are affected or fish habitat is harmed. Restoring buffers is one of the most effective ways to improve and protect the quality of water on your property.
To discuss buffer strip management and other stewardship goals, contact a CVC stewardship coordinator today.