The capacity of buffers to protect water quality is widely acknowledged in scientific literature. However, until now there has not been a way to quantify the ability of constructed or restored buffers to reduce pollution, or for some New England communities to receive credit for their use under MS4 permits.
A tool has been created through an expert elicitation process that integrates science-based recommendations for calculating the pollutant removal rate of constructed or restored buffers and the ability to compare their performance to other water quality BMPs.
This tool was created as part of Credit for Going Green, a project sponsored by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative, which supports collaborative research to address coastal management problems important to Reserves and their communities. The Science Collaborative is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and managed by the University of Michigan Water Center.