Restore Stream and Wetland Buffers
R1Restore Stream and Wetland Buffers
5 points possible
Why this matters to the lake?
Riparian zones surrounding streams and wetlands help to reduce sediments, nitrogen, phosphorous, and pesticides by filtering these and other pollutants out of stormwater and runoff. Healthy riparian buffers increase habitat, stabilize water channels and streambanks, improve water quality, provide stream shade and temperature control, and improve aesthetics.
- Restore ecological health of streams and wetlands by replanting and restoring buffers
- Restore water quality by restoring buffers for sediment and pollutant removal
- Restore critical environmental areas and sensitive sites for habitat protection
A high-quality stream and wetland buffer is densely vegetated with native plants, a diverse canopy, shrubs, and ground layer vegetation. A healthy buffer is also free from invasive species and eroding soils. The number of native plants from each category (i.e. trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants) depends upon the size (total square feet) of the area to be restored. Site preparation may be necessary, including the removal of weeds, and amending existing highly eroded soils. Planting methods may include live stakes for stream restoration, the installation of woody vegetation, grasses, and seeding.
Stream and buffer restoration guidelines include:
- One (1) 1.5” caliper canopy tree or one (1) 4’-6’ understory tree per 20 linear feet of shoreline
- Per 250 square feet (25-foot x 10-foot)
- Seven (7) to eight (8) 24” native shrubs
- Sixty (60) to sixty-five (65) plugs or one gallon perennials and grasses at 18” on center
- Native seed mix may be used for ground cover as per recommended seed rate
Points are awarded based on buffer width for a site that demonstrates buffer restoration following the guidelines above.
|Category||Buffer Width from
For all projects, proposed phasing plans must meet the following requirements:
- Phase One: 50% of proposed restoration area at time of development.
- Phase Two: 25% of proposed restoration within two-year period.
- Phase Three: Remaining 25% within five years.
Note: This credit is only applicable for restoration of buffers where none existed before a development project. For stream reaches with existing buffers, refer to credit P2.
Include the following information with application:
- As part of the Proposed Site Plan, show the delineation of streams (permanent and intermittent) and wetlands and provide a planting plan to restore the buffer, in phases if applicable. Provide a detailed plant list to correspond with the plan.
- Covenant if applicable.
- Chesapeake Bay Riparian Handbook: A Guide for Establishing and Maintaining Riparian Forest Buffers
- Buffer Zone Restoration Guidelines. Wellesley Wetland Protection Committee.
- New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, Riparian Buffers, Floodplains and/or Wetlands.
- Planting Design & Plants Database – United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Wetland Planting Guide for the Northeast United States. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America.
Existing Regulatory Guidance/Requirements
New York (State). Department of Environmental Conservation. (1987). Freshwater Wetlands Act: Article 24 and Title 23 of Article 71 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
Town of Queensbury Section179-8-040 Shoreline Buffers