The health of the Great Bay Estuary is strongly influenced by stressors from across the watershed. Seven rivers flow into the estuary, which is recessed 15 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. While science and case studies clearly demonstrate the value of vegetated buffers along these rivers in promoting a healthy estuary, New Hampshire does not yet consistently or effectively use buffers to protect the Great Bay Estuary. A 2015 Integrated Assessment project led by Great Bay Reserve enhanced stakeholder capacity to make informed decisions on the protection and restoration of buffers around the Great Bay Estuary by addressing the following question: What are the options for addressing the challenges to effectively protect and restore buffer zones around New Hampshire’s Great Bay?
As part of this project, the project team developed this infographic to depict the minimum recommended buffer width for various functions, such as reducing runoff and removing pollutants.