A protected riparian area is an area of trees, woody shrubs, grasses, and other vegetation located adjacent to or up gradient from water courses,
wetlands, and impounded water bodies. This area should be protected from livestock, or livestock should be managed in a manner to protect the area.
The area reduces sediment, organic material, nutrients, and pesticides in surface runoff and shallow groundwater flow. Benefits of this practice
include enhanced wildlife habitat, reduced stream water temperature, streambank protection, and erosion control.
To use this BMP in your water quality plan you should:
- Apply this BMP in areas where a portion of the runoff occurs as shallow groundwater flow and where water quality is impaired or there is a
high potential for water quality impairment.
- Select and manage vegetation to adequately control or significantly abate potential soil erosion and provide adequate filtering and uptake
benefits from the affected areas.
- Adapt plantings of hardwood trees, shrubs, and grass/legume species to the soils and other site factors.
- Plant a riparian buffer area adjacent to permanent or intermittent streams, lakes or ponds, and wetlands.
- Establish a groundcover to provide erosion protection and additional filtering and uptake benefits.
- Groundcover establishment within new riparian zones should include a perennial grass and legume species and at least one
quick cover (annual) species.
- Only non-competitive species of ground cover should be established within zones to be forested.
- Exclude livestock, except at designated crossing areas and watering sites, if vegetation is not capable of withstanding grazing pressure.
Consider using temporary fencing to exclude livestock from zones that may be grazed temporarily.
- Monitor riparian buffer zones for possible damages following significant storm events.
- Avoid damaging buffer zones with herbicides from surrounding cropland.