Traditionally most of us see Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer. If you are one of the millions of Americans who chose to get out and hit the water during your holiday weekend, we hope you took a minute to appreciate the trees.

Riparian buffers play a huge role in making sure that our water ways stay clean and healthy. If you paddle, trees provide shade which not only cools you on hot days, but helps to maintain a cooler water temperature which benefits aquatic life. They also filter out sediments and waste from farms to ensure our water stays as clean as possible. If you are fishing, note that dead leaves provide biomass for our streams and lakes which provides shelter and food for invertebrates and fish larva making for a healthier and more robust fish population.

Lastly buffers also provide excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing, as they form corridors of food and shelter for mammals and countless bird species. So as you enjoy the river this summer, remember that many of the recreational opportunities you enjoy are possible, and made better by, Riparian Buffers.

Share your favorite recreation photos highlighting riparian trees with us through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We love to see the ways river lovers connect with nature!