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Forest buffers are critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Forest buffers prevent pollution from entering rivers and streams, stabilize stream banks, provide food and habitat to wildlife and keep streams cool during hot weather. More than half of the watershed’s native species depend on forest buffers for food, shelter and access to water at some point in their lives. And sensitive aquatic species depend on the shade that streamside trees provide.
Forest buffers prevent polluted runoff from entering rivers and streams. Forest buffers also hold soil in place, stabilizing stream banks and reducing the amount of sand, silt and sediment that can wash into waterways.
Forest buffers are the trees, shrubs and other plants that grow next to streams and rivers.