The Mayer paper calculates that only 9% of pollutant removal can be explained by buffer width. John Wanamaker, an early pioneer in marketing, used to say that half the money he spent on advertising was wasted, he just didn't know which half. For a buffer-based world, we might say that 91% of buffer space is wasted, we just don't know which 91%.
Buffers can eat up lots of land for practically no pollutant removal effect, especially after they exceed a certain effective size.
Yesterday, our Planning Commission passed the draft wetlands ordinance of the proposed CAO. Giving credit where credit is due, they took a terrible proposal and made quite a few improvements. Overall, however, we still don't know what the problem is, if any, and the proposed CAO will force us to live in an inefficient, costly, buffer-based world.
Buffers are the 9% solution, and they're still looking for a problem.