Dear Friends, I am attaching an Adobe pdf document on the role of riparian buffer strips in protection water quality and habitat in the Midwest, especially in the southeastern Wisconsin and the Great Lakes basin, but certainly more widely applicable.
This document was recently published by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission with the financial support of the US EPA and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. The document is also available through our website at:
The science summarized in the document is relevant to both rural and urban areas of the State, and is supportive of the actions under consideration by the Legislature relative to notices concerning construction near or on lakes, streams,
Managing the Water’s Edge highlights the water quality, wildlife, and human benefits to be achieved through providing appropriate buffers around our water resources. It also notes that these benefits are human choices, but in exchange
provide significant ecological and economic benefit when the buffers provided are of greater width. In rural agricultural areas, the buffers help to retain soil on the land surface, and to maintain free-flowing streams, a number of which may have additional
economic benefit as trout and cold water fish waters of the state. In urban areas, these waterways have historically provided the motive power to support our industrial growth and currently continue to play a role on the state’s economic well-being by providing
the focal points for water-based recreation and tourism. Surveys completed by the Regional Planning Commission, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Wisconsin-Extension all show the popularity
of water-based recreation in the state and to our visitors. Surveys completed by the Regional Planning Commission and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater go beyond this and clearly document the economic worth of these resources, as well as the value people
place on good water quality in our lake resources. In short, both humans and the natural environment benefit from the placement of appropriate and adequate buffers along wetland, streams, and lakes.
We believe that this document is reader-friendly and likely to be of value to you in your endeavors to protect and preserve Wisconsin’s rich heritage of water resources. We would encourage you to share this document with your membership,
and ask only that due recognition be given to the Regional Planning Commission as the source of the document.
Jim, would you be so kind as to post this note on the Lakes-L blog? Thanks!
Best regards, Jeff Thornton. Principal Planner: Environment, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (262 547-6721 x 237)