Planting trees along streams, wetlands, and lakes
helps control water and soil runoff. This also removes
sediment, reduces flood damage, and increases water
quality by reducing the pollution of water runoff by as
much as 80%.
Healthy, vegetated stream buffer zones reduce the
total amount of suspended solids of phosphorus, nitrogen
and heavy metal transfer from urban areas into streams
by 55% to 99%.
Numerous studies have correlated the reduction of
loss in streamside trees and vegetation with the
reduction of aquatic diversity and up to an 86% decline
in the total fish population.
One square mile of forestland produces 50 tons per
year of sediment in our streams and lakes, whereas one
square mile of farmland produces 1,000 to 50,000 tons
per year of sediment and one square mile of land
prepared for construction can produce 25,000 to 50,000
tons per year of sediment.
In one study, a tree canopy reduced surface runoff
from a one-inch rain over 12 hours by 17%.
In natural watersheds with trees and vegetation, 5%
to 15% of stream flow is delivered as surface storm
runoff. In highly developed areas, over 50% of the
stream flow is from surface runoff.