What is Riparian?

An open space in the forest with a view of a narrow creek going into the mountains

Riparian areas are formed as the result water, soil and vegetation interacting with one another

Riparian Areas

Riparian areas are the lands adjacent to streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands, where the vegetation and soils are strongly influenced by the presence of water. Although they make up only a small fraction of the land, they are among the most productive and valuable of all landscape types and have been the focus of conflicts between resource users.

Riparian areas are formed as the result water, soil and vegetation interacting with one another. Whether we call them floodplains, shorelines, green zones or riparian areas, their character begins with fine wet soils developed in them.

Ecology and Function

Although riparian areas provide similar functions for flowing (streams/rivers) and non-flowing (lakes/wetlands) systems, there are some differences.

What do Riparian Areas Do?

Join our mailing list

* indicates required
Click here to receive a paper copy instead
Oil painting of an aerial view of a riparian area