Riparian Areas

Riparian areas are the areas bordering on streams, lakes, and wetlands that link water to land. The blend of stream bed, water, trees, shrubs and grasses directly influences and provides fish habitat. Protecting this riparian fish habitat, while facilitating urban development that exhibits high standards of environmental stewardship, is a priority for the Government of British Columbia. Good quality stream side habitat is essential for ensuring healthy fish populations.

The purpose of the Regulation is to protect the features, functions and conditions that are vital in the natural maintenance of stream health and productivity. These vital features, functions and conditions are numerous and varied and include such things as:

  • Sources of large organic debris, such as fallen trees and tree roots;
  • Areas for stream channel migration;
  • Vegetative cover to help moderate water temperature;
  • Provision of food, nutrients and organic matter to the stream;
  • Stream bank stabilization; and,
  • Buffers for streams from excessive silt and surface runoff pollution.

Do you have a stream, lake, wetland or ditch on or beside your property? Click here for more information.