EPA buffer chart

Westchester County hosts both freshwater and saline waterbodies, which includes lakes, ponds, rivers, streams/creeks, intermittent streams, saturated soil, swamps and marshes (freshwater wetlands), the Long Island Sound, estuaries and, tidal wetlands. Tidal wetlands are closely linked to estuaries - where sea water mixes with fresh water to form an environment of varying salinities. Tidal wetlands in Westchester County are not limited to waters connected to the Long Island Sound; tributaries off the Hudson River may also be influenced by tides. 

Riparian buffers are the grasses, shrubs, trees, and other vegetation that grow along water and are important to the survival of the creatures and plants living in that habitat who rely on them for shade, food, habitat structure, and soil stabilization. Additionally, the vegetation in a riparian buffer helps to: control erosion by keeping the soil intact; reduce flooding by intercepting runoff and keeping it in in the ground; and improve water quality by filtering out harmful pollutants before they reach the water

General guides to riparian buffers
The resources below are general guides to riparian buffers and offer comprehensive overviews and include information on: buffer types, the importance of buffers, how to plant and maintain successful buffers, and plant lists. Later sections of resources are broken into specific sub-steps or actions to create a riparian buffer.

Title: A Guide to Aquatic Buffers
Sponsoring organization: Westchester County Department of Planning
Description: A comprehensive12-page guide that explains types of aquatic buffers, their benefits, characteristics of good aquatic buffers, buffer management and protection, and guidance on planting buffers. Includes color photos, glossary, references, and resources.

Title: Riverbank Management and Riparian Buffers
Sponsoring organization: Connecticut River Joint Commissions (CRJC)
Description: A series of 11 in-depth short fact sheets for both the homeowner and largescale land manager: Introduction to Riparian Buffers; Backyard Buffers; Forested Buffers; Buffers for Habitat; Buffers for Agricultural Land; Guidance for Communities; Urban Buffers; Field Assessment; Planting Riparian Buffers; Native Trees, Shrubs and Groundcovers; Source of Assistance.

Title: Riparian Buffer Illustration
Sponsoring organization: Putnam County, NY Soil & Water Conservation District
Description: 1-page illustration with simple summary of components and advantages of Riparian Forest Buffers. 

Title: Landscaping at the Water's Edge: An Ecological Approach
Sponsoring organization: University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
Description: A thorough, clear and easy-to-follow 93 page manual with diagrams, photographs and many plant suggestions "This book will help you understand the basics of how watersheds and shoreland ecosystems function so you can use the strategies and techniques presented to help prevent soil erosion, nutrient and pesticide runoff, exotic plant invasions, and other detrimental processes associated with developed landscapes. Applying the principles of ecological landscaping will support wildlife and plant diversity and maintain or even improve water quality in our lakes, streams, rivers, bays and estuaries.”  Chapters: Landscaping on the Edge, Understanding Water Movement on land, Vegetative Buffers, The Landscape Design Process, Planting and Maintaining the Shoreland Landscape, Environmentally Friendly Lawn Care, and Recommended Plant Lists.

Specific resource guides to riparian buffers
The resources below provide information about both riparian fresh and salt water buffers and why they are critically important

Title: Riparian Forest Buffers
Sponsoring organization: United States Department of Agriculture National Agroforestry Center
Description: .Definition and benefits of Riparian buffers.  Also includes additional resources including buffer planning and design.   

Title: A Planting Guide for Riparian Sites along the Connecticut Coast
Sponsoring Organization: Connecticut Sea Grant College Program, the NEMO Program, and the University of Connecticut Department of Extension
Description:  12 pages that includes definitions of coastal habitats, importance of Riparian Buffers, and how to construct and manage coastal riparian buffers.

Title: Riparian Buffers for Wildlife
Sponsoring organization: Penn State Extension
Description: Easy to follow 8 page document that includes information on the 3 planting zones in riparian buffers, and what to plant, with a focus on wildlife benefits. 

Title: Enhancing Water Resources in Tompkins County: Benefits of Riparian Areas and Stream Buffers
Sponsoring organization: Tompkins County, NY Planning Department
Description: An 11-page document that emphasizes the benefits of forested riparian buffers. It also explains stream dynamics and streambank stability.

Title: Woodland Pool Conservation
Sponsoring organization: NY State Department of Environmental Conservation
Description: A website that explains what Woodland Pools are, their environmental values, and the need for conservation by local municipalities, since most are too small to be regulated by the State of New York.