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Stormwater Blues
Benefits of Riparian Areas

Sizing Your Buffer
Steps for Riparian Planting

Special Considerations
Buffers- Not a Cure-All


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Buffers are not a cure-all

Replanting or maintaining a riparian buffer is only one part of an overall strategy you can use to protect water quality. The other critical step is to reduce and eliminate contaminants from your property. The more you're able to cut down on fertilizers, pesticides, and leaky automotive fluids, the less pressure you'll place on your buffer's ability to filter them out.

Even if you replant or retain natural vegetation in your riparian area there is always a chance that your shoreline may erode, since some erosion is part of the natural shoreline process for streams and lakes. Furthermore, some properties are more susceptible to shoreline erosion than others because of local geology, soil type, drainage, and location on the shoreline. Some lots are going to erode no matter what measures are taken. Riparian living gives you the chance to be a good steward. Lake Whatcom and the streams that drain into it are all part of a shared water resource--our drinking water supply. Replanting or maintaining a riparian area with appropriate vegetation and reducing the amount of chemicals you use around your home is a crucial part of maintaining and improving your drinking water quality.

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Lake Whatcom Cooperative Management WSU Whatcom County Whatcom Coundy IPM

For more information, contact Scarlet Tang or Todd Murray
WSU Cooperative Extension (360) 676-6736

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