Riparian Zone

Photo 1: Welsch 1991 Riparian Forest Buffers: Function and Design For Protection and Enhancement of Water Resources.

Riparian means “near water”, such as stream banks, wetlands and other watercourses.

Riparian Buffers are areas of natural trees, shrubs, and grasses near streams and rivers. They protect our streams by:

  • Shading the sun and keeping water temperatures low.
  • Filtering out pollutants such as sediment and excess fertilizer.
  • Enhancing ecosystems by providing wildlife habitat.
Photo 1: Welsch 1991 Riparian Forest Buffers: Function and Design For Protection and Enhancement of Water Resources.
Photo 2: Blount County Government, Maryville, TN

Stream Bank Fencing is a simple way to keep the cows out of the stream so that we can all remain healthy. When livestock have unrestricted access to streams, they often pollute our water by trampling the stream banks and relieving themselves right in the water!

Photo 3: LandStudies, Inc.

Keeping riparian zones clean is important because they are the source of:

  • Our fresh water, used for drinking and cooking
  • Our food (think Maryland Blue Crabs and fish)
  • Our recreation such as fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing
Photo 3: LandStudies, Inc.