Stream Corridor Restoration Program
Needs and Benefits for the Stream Corridor Restoration Program
Stream corridors encompass the stream, its banks, and its riparian buffer zones. A stream corridor differs from its watershed’s uplands, in terms of plants, animals, physical structure, soils, and hydrology (movement of water across the land) – characteristics that generally reflect a high level of diversity, richness, and biological productivity. Because of the interactions and response to their watersheds, stream corridors are dynamic and complex. The watersheds and their stream corridors in our region have been significantly altered by human activity, stressing their capacity to achieve a generally stable condition, even though not static.
When populated by native grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees, the riparian buffer zones along stream corridors provide important benefits for the waterways. These benefits include: protection of water quality, by preventing sediments, nutrients, pesticides and other pollutants from reaching a stream; preserving wildlife habitat, by providing food and cover, as well as an important travel corridor; and slowing floodwaters, by allowing them to soak into the ground, which helps to maintain stable streambanks and to protect downstream property.
Meeting Bayou Preservation Association Goals through the Stream Corridor Restoration Program
The current focus and goal of Bayou Preservation Association’s Stream Corridor Restoration Program is to restore riparian buffer zones, through the removal of invasive species and the planting of native species, where needed and appropriate.
The Stream Corridor Restoration Program supports the Bayou Preservation Association’s Stewardship goal: Increase stewardship and stewardship opportunities to improve the health of our watersheds, creeks and bayous. The Stream Corridor Restoration Program also supports the Bayou Preservation Association’s Education and Outreach goal: Increase understanding of area bayous and creeks and their watersheds.
Program Objectives and Key Components of the Stream Corridor Restoration Program
- Develop a comprehensive approach to restoring native vegetation along the bayous and streams of our region, through partnering with regional technical experts and practitioners.
- Provide vegetation management services for the stewardship of streamside lands, by guiding the removal of invasive species from selected streamside areas, and restoring native species where needed and appropriate, with the engagement of communities, corporate partners, and the HCSO Community Work Program.
- Build understanding of vegetation functions and benefits of riparian buffers, through presentations, reports, and workshops, to inform and engage citizens, schools, and others, about healthy stream corridors and the status of the stream corridors in their own watersheds (and how to learn more / do more).