Wetlands and Riparian Forests

Certain ecosystems can intercept and trap discharged pollutants before they reach aquatic systems. SERC studies were among the first to show the potential of streamside or riparian forests to remove sediments and nutrients from watershed discharges. Knowledge of the benefits of riparian forests has led to widespread efforts to restore riparian buffers throughout the United States . Other SERC studies have demonstrated the value of natural and restored wetlands in protecting water quality. Such research helps guide efforts to protect water quality by preserving or restoring wetlands.

Aerial photograph showing
riparian forests positioned
between farm fields
and a stream.