Stream buffers, also known as riparian buffers, are the trees, shrubs, and vegetation along waterways that help protect water quality. These buffers filter pollutants, trap sediment, improve streambank stability and reduce erosion and flooding. Trees also shade streams during the heat of summer, keeping water temperatures cool and oxygen rich for fish like our native brook trout, which don’t thrive in overheated streams.

Raritan Headwaters created a Buffer Analysis Tool (Coming Soon) for use by our partners in identifying where buffers are lacking along local waterways. This useful Tool is available as an ArcGis Online interactive map, searchable by municipality.

Raritan Headwaters is partnering with towns, schools, volunteers and public agencies to restore stream buffers throughout our watershed. In one such project, about 50 volunteers pitched in to plant 350 native New Jersey trees and shrubs along the Peapack Brook over the course of three days in October 2017. Raritan Headwaters and the Peapack-Gladstone Environmental Commission were joined by staff from the town’s public works department, NJ Water Supply Authority, and local volunteers.  Similar projects have been completed on Walnut Brook in Raritan Twp., Holland Brook in Readington Twp., and Mine Brook in Bernardsville.

Interested in restoring a stream buffer in your town? Background on buffers and useful tips for planting trees and shrubs along the stream corridor can be found here. To discuss partnering or for additional questions contact:

Kristi MacDonald,PhD, Director of Science
(908) 234-1852 x322