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Freshwater Shorelines and Riparian Buffers

Many of the Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreements conserve pond/stream edge habitats, which are known as riparian buffers. These habitats are very much alive, and have been identified by biologists as important habitat for a diverse number of wildlife species.

There are many reasons to keep our living freshwater shorelines intact, several of which benefit homeowners and their property.


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How can you help? Keep it wild!
Please leave trees and plants in place around our shorelines. Keep at least 15 meters of natural vegetation around all of our ponds, streams and wetlands in our province. This 15 m buffer is required by our Lands Act.

Our tidal wetlands are important for biodiversity,
mitigating climate change, and supporting bird populations. 

Reasons to protect Riparian Habitats:

  • Stops the effects of erosion

  • Decreases siltation into freshwater habitat

  • Continues to offer flood mitigation

  • Supports better air quality through natural vegetation

  • Helps native pollinator/invertebrate populations

  • Acts as a buffer against snow and blowing winds

  • Protects nurseries for fish and waterfowl

  • Promotes growth of native plant species, reducing invasive species

  • Shields against noise pollution

  • Removes heavy metals from the water

  • Filters and cleans the water

  • Increases biodiversity

  • Stores carbon and mitigates climate change

Conserving NL's Special Places

Newfoundland and Labrador is home to many important and sensitive wildlife habitats. The iconic puffin, the fish that swim our rivers, and the shorebirds that visit our coastlines each fall are just some of the things that make our biodiversity special. As a central part of SAM's mission we work to identify, prioritize and conserve the land areas of the province that support important biodiversity and are important to us culturally. We seek, in partnership with our municipal members, to find a balance between preservation of biodiversity values and economic and social development opportunities. We also recognize that there are many ways that these lands can be effectively conserved and so we actively seek to share our findings with other people and groups who share our vision.

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