The Citizens Watchdog
Water, Land, Sun
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DisappearingRiparian Areas and Wetlands
Why Are They Drying Up?Hint..not just a drought
The health of our waters is the principlemeasure of how we live on the land.
Luna LeopoldBy Karen KoyoteSpecial thanks to Glyder
What is a riparian buffer?
They are often the “thin lines
makes up the land next to a river or stream.In its natural state, it has native plants growing on it: trees, shrubs, or tall, coarse grasses; thetype of vegetation depends on the climate.They are also called vegetated buffer zones.
As the name suggests, these plants “buffer”
the stream from anything that flows into it -polluted water, eroding soil or toxicchemicals. The roots of the plants hold theriver banks in place, stabilizing the land andabsorbing the water and materials that flow across the land. These areas support bothland and water based animals, insects andplants, and are essential in the interrelated web of our natural world. Riparian buffers
are a river’s right
-of-way. Small streams needbuffers, too. A healthy riparian area is evidence of wiseland use management.
Why are riparian zones important?
Riparian buffers are important for good waterquality. Riparian zones help to prevent