Riparian Zone Case Study

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1. a) Roles of the riparian zone include filtering and buffering water through the various vegetation, acting as flood protection areas, trapping sediment and preventing erosion (though the roots of riparian plants) before they reach the water course, helping maintain local water table levels, shading by the riparian plants and keeping stream temperatures low during the summer for the fish, acting as a corridor for land mammals (e.g. bears, deer, squirrels), and overall maintaining biological diversity.

b) When assessing the condition of a riparian zone, good indicators include the physical size of the riparian zone, the vegetation layers, and erosion/sedimentation levels in the water.

c) Hoy Creek’s riparian zone varied in condition. Some areas along the creek had almost no riparian areas, with residential areas and backyards causing disturbances less than approximately
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If I were in charge of managing an urban watershed like Hoy Creek, I would make it mandatory to have a healthy, wide enough, and diverse surrounding riparian area, with frequent check-ins and maintenance to ensure its best condition. Correspondingly, there would be strictly preserved areas, where there would be little to no public access in order to maintain the ecosystem’s natural state and habitat for wildlife, as well as separate recreational spaces for hiking, walking, biking and so forth, away from these protected areas. These recreational spaces would also be somewhat frequent in maintenance, either by volunteers or hired city-workers, or to ensure cleanliness and well-being. Furthermore, I would ensure that little to no drainage from the rainwater drains flows into the smaller creeks of the watershed as there is possible pollution from nearby urban areas, such as oil on roads and other possible run-off which can harm the biodiversity in small stream ecosystems. Instead, I would drain these pipes into larger creeks and streams where there is more water to dilute the possible

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