Not all buffers are created equal.

Their effectiveness depends on their characteristics and the surrounding landscape. Different buffer widths are necessary to achieve different outcomes.

Did you know?

You may have buffers on your land and not be aware of it. Find out where to protect and restore buffers in your town.

How do we value buffers?

Great Bay communities may be willing to pay between $1.5 to 2.8 million annually for improved water quality.

How to protect buffers

Understand your community’s legal rights to establish ordinances that protect buffers.

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure (like buffers) is a good deal. It’s also less expensive than grey infrastructure like pipes and sewers.

Who regulates buffers?

Navigating buffer regulations in New Hampshire.

Buffer Basics

What is a buffer?

 People apply the term buffer to landscapes with different characteristics, ranging from naturally vegetated areas to those where mowing is allowed.

What do buffers do?

Healthy, intact buffers help keep our waters clean and our basements dry, offer a home for wildlife,  and protect oyster beds and eelgrass.

How well do they work?

A buffer’s effectiveness depends on its characteristics—and the surrounding landscape adjacent to the buffer and in the larger watershed.

How to Manage Buffers

Working with Communities

How do you start a conversation about buffers? Where are the important buffers? What are the options for protecting them?

Working with Landowners

What can you do in a buffer?
How do you protect buffers?
What will it cost? What are the incentives? How do you restore a buffer?


Navigating Regulations

Who regulates buffers?
What's protected? What's not?
Why protect smaller streams & wetlands?  Should all buffers be the same size?


Water Quality, Co-Occurrence, Wildlife Action Plan and Flooding
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About Buffers Options for the Bay

The Buffer Options for the Bay (BOB)​ ​project is dedicated to​ ​advancing  understanding​ ​of buffer​ value​ ​and​ ​refining​ ​policy​ ​to​ ​support​ ​the more effective​ ​use​ ​of​ ​buffers​ ​as​ ​​land management​ ​tool​s ​in​ ​the​ ​Great​ ​Bay​ Estuary ​watershed.​

Learn more about our project >