Benefits of Healthy Riparian Areas

Benefits of healthy riparian/stream systems:

  • High quality habitat for both aquatic and riparian species
  • Dissipation of flood energy and reduced downstream flood intensity and frequency
  • Higher, longer-lasting and less variable baseflow between storm events
  • Deposition of sediment in the floodplain, stabilizing it and maintaining downstream reservoir capacity longer
  • Debris and nutrient use and filtering in the floodplain to improve water quality and dissolved oxygen levels in the aquatic system
  • Riparian vegetation canopies to shade streams and reduce their temperatures, providing a food base for aquatic and riparian fauna
  • Fewer invasions of exotic undesirable riparian species
  • Higher biodiversity than terrestrial uplands
  • “Stabilized” banks, which reduce erosion and protect ownership boundaries
  • Increased economic value through wildlife, livestock, timber, and recreational enterprises
  • Improved rural land aesthetics and real estate values