Definition of Riparian Buffer
A riparian buffer zone is a "ribbon of life,” or an area of trees and shrubs adjacent to a natural waterway, including streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands. Riparian buffers are a type of conservation practice that farmers can employ under conservation contracts with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The purpose of a riparian buffer zone is to capture sediment, nutrients, pesticides and other contaminants in order to reduce their entry into waterways. In addition, riparian buffers are a type of wildlife corridor that create habitat for wildlife activity and movement.