New Report: The Economic Value Of Riparian Buffers

April 28, 2016

April 28, 2016

Liz G. Deardorff, Director
American Rivers, Clean Water Supply
P: (717) 763-0742

American Rivers announces the availability of the report The Economic Value of Riparian Buffers, produced in partnership with the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland.

Trees are one of a stream’s best friends. Scientists tell us that “headwater streams are tightly linked to adjacent riparian ecosystems.” These headwater streams, where rivers are born, provide essential nourishment for the health of rivers downstream where people live and thrive on water made available from rivers. To help ensure we have clean water and stream habitats that are well nourished, scientists prescribe forested riparian corridors.

Riparian buffers can benefit trout habitat, contribute to a system as large and complex as the Chesapeake Bay and happen right in your backyard!

To examine the hurdles to achieving riparian buffers in every backyard and along every river mile, American Rivers hosted a day-long forum, Trees for Water: Assessing riparian buffer benefits for Pennsylvania’s communities, earlier this year in Philadelphia. Participants addressed the scientific imperative for riparian buffers, the need for municipal programs to drive adoption of riparian buffer policy and practice, and the hurdles to broad acceptance of protective and restorative policies.

Aficionados of ‘trees for water’ or riparian buffers have identified the need to develop a clear understanding of the economic values landowners and communities have for the benefits of riparian buffers. The topic was introduced at the forum and the findings [link to report] tell us:

  • Riparian buffers have a positive economic value in terms of private and public benefits.
  • The economic value of riparian buffers generally increases with width and length.
  • Riparian buffers generate a price premium for residential property. And,
  • The public is willing to pay for watershed restoration with riparian buffers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

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