BC Rivers Day
We are so lucky in BC to have great river systems and riparian areas (creek-side forests) that provide essential habitat for so much wildlife. Around 75-80% of all local wildlife will use riparian and wetland areas during their lives. This includes animals like Western Screech Owls, Yellow Breasted Chats, Painted Turtles, Great Basin Spadefoots and many more!
Riparian areas do SO much for us. They soak up excess rainwater like a sponge, which can help reduce flooding downstream. They are fantastic at filtering out pollutants from the water and the roots of all the trees and plants in a riparian area give structure to the soil and prevent erosion. The shady trees and overhanging vegetation helps keep water cool, giving fish and other aquatic life a refuge from the heat and a better chance of survival from heat stress. Natural areas have also been proven to be good for human health too - spending time in nature has been shown to lower blood pressure!
Sadly riparian areas are one of the most endangered ecosystems in BC. It is estimated that around 85% of riparian and wetland areas along the valley bottom have vanished due to urbanization and agriculture. It is so important to care for our remaining riparian areas and prevent the loss of any more of these habitats
You can help! Here are a few ways to care for your local creek or river
1) Eliminate or highly limit the amounts of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers used in surrounding areas.
2) Monitor any invasive plants along river and remove them if possible.
3) Keep a vegetation buffer of native plants along rivers that will provides habitat for wildlife and natural filtration of pollutants.
4) Let other people know the importance of riparian areas and why they need to be protected.
Learn even more by checking out our Caring for your Shoreline page on our website.
BC rivers are beautiful so lets keep them that way!