Buffered Shorelines

Buffered shorelines are vegetated areas along rivers and lakes that help minimize the amount of pollution entering the water.

Pollution runoff from land is a significant contributor to the decline of our local waters. Buffered shorelines, or buffer zones, help to lessen the adverse affects of human activity on water quality.

A vegetative zone consisting of native plants helps to filter pollutants, such as fertilizers and animal waste, and minimizes grass clippings entering the waterways, which rapidly turn into nutrient laden muck.  During a rainstorm, the initial surface runoff, or first flush, typically has the highest concentration of pollution. Rather than directly entering surface water, buffered shorelines capture that initial runoff.

Keep pollution out of the waterways by adding a buffer to your waterfront property

“Protecting the Waterfront” is one of the nine principles of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program that is designed to protect Florida’s water resources.  Buffered shorelines protect the waterfront by using native and/or Florida-Friendly plants that replace your lawn and eliminate the need for fertilizer and pesticides near the water.  These plants can also absorb nutrients and pollution from stormwater runoff and provide habitat for wildlife including birds, butterflies, and pollinators.

Buffered shorelines provide several benefits:

  • Reduces polluted runoff from your yard
  • Reduces irrigation costs
  • Reduces maintenance time (once established)
  • Increases habitat and food sources for wildlife
  • Improve aesthetics and property value


Learn more about Florida-Friendly Landscaping™