Stream Buffers

What are stream buffers?
Stream buffers are areas of vegetation, such as a section of trees, near a stream that help protect the stream from harm caused by use of the surrounding land. Stream buffers are used to conserve water quality and reduce water pollution.

Stream buffers infographic detailing how they work

Benefits of stream buffers
Stream buffers protect and help streams and the quality of the water by filtering contaminants out of the water before it reaches the stream. Pollution runoff is therefore slowed, and tree roots also help prevent soil erosion into the stream. Stream buffers also help by absorbing water if the stream floods, protecting the surrounding people and property from damage.

What makes a good stream buffer?
A good stream buffer consists of native plants, trees, and grass that hasn’t been significantly disturbed by humans. Buffers with deep, thick roots are best at absorbing water and shielding the stream from pollutants.

Local stream buffer resources
Click here to read the Town of Normal’s ordinance regarding stream buffers.
Click here to read McLean County’s stream buffer regulations.


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