Watersheds, or drainage basins, are the gathering-ground of a river system. Plants and animals along these waterways protect, regenerate, and often reflect the health of a watershed.
Why are Riparian Areas Important to Us? Riparian areas purify our water by removing chemicals, organic pollutants and sediments. They allow water to percolate through soil to replenish the water table, enhancing water quality and quantity. Riparian habitat provides shady, green spaces for birds, large mammals (including humans) and other wildlife.
Riparian habitat boarders lakes and streams. Surrounding soil retains water (from surface and groundwater sources), allowing plants that are dependent upon readily available moisture to survive. Riparian areas support 80 to 90 percent of our wildlife species at some time during their lives.