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May 16

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Protecting a Stream’s Comfort Zone

Using a three-zone buffer system around a stream can dramatically improve water quality. Zone in on this:

(via Robert Tjaden)

Students avidly listen as Tjaden points out the buffer zones around them. (via Robert Tjaden)

When we destroy the ecosystem along a stream, we threaten water quality, displace wildlife, and increase the risk of flooding.

Robert Tjaden of the University of Maryland says that a three-part buffer between the water and adjacent land can help preserve a healthy waterway.

Tjaden: “The three zone buffer does it all.”

In the first zone, trees stabilize the bank and cool the water. A second forested zone provides habitat for wildlife and absorbs contaminants. Finally, a zone of grasses helps slow the flow of rain and run-off.

Every site is different, but three-zone buffers have helped dramatically improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, and can be adapted to a variety of settings.

Hear More:

Robert Tjaden describes important questions to consider before designing a buffer zone for your water.

Get Schooled:

 The Fine Print:

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/stormwater-management/protecting-a-streams-comfort-zone/