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Riparian Areas

Riparian areas are ecosystems that border bodies of water. Though they can be only a few metres wide in some cases, they are a unique ecosystem that acts as a transition zone between the water and the broader land area.

Riparian areas play an especially important role in maintaining the quality of water by preventing excessive erosion of the land surrounding the water body, as well as in some cases, acting as natural flood plains to help preserve the land above them.

As a transitional zone, they are also very fragile and easily subject to damage.

Riparian preservation is an important part of the overall health of an aquatic ecosystem and shows that healthy aquatic ecosystems extend beyond the surface of water.

Many groups are involved in educating land owners and recreational users about the value of riparian areas.

Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils provide information about riparian preservation in addition to information on the watershed as a whole.

Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society, also known as Cows and Fish, promotes the improvement of riparian areas through collaborative partnership and voluntary, proactive community-based action. The society spreads its message on the importance of riparian preservation through education and promoting awareness about management options for producers, landowners and their communities.

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Updated: Jul 20, 2018