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Parks, Recreation & Culture » Sustainable Kamloops » Environmental Sustainability » Natural Environment

Riparian Areas

Riparian areas are considered to be environmentally-sensitive lands within the City of Kamloops and surrounding areas. They include lands bordering streams, lakes and wetlands along the Thompson Rivers, their tributaries, and various ponds.

Riparian areas are important to fish and other aquatic species in that they provide:

  • Shade for the body of water they are bordering thus providing temperature control
  • Food and other organic matter to the body of water
  • Grasses and shrubs act a biological filter to keep out surface run-off pollution

As illustrated in Figure 1, the blending of water, soil and vegetation that occurs within riparian areas is highly valuable to the natural environment.

Figure 1 Riparian Areas

Riparian areas are also important to people in that they provide bank stabilization, protecting neighbouring properties from erosion damage. The roots from riparian vegetation hold onto the soil even during run off events. During flood events the vegetation slows down the current flowing through the riparian area thus minimizing the impact of soil erosion.

Riparian areas in Kamloops are protected through the provincial governments Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR). This regulation gives local governments the power to protect riparian areas during residential, commercial, and industrial development by ensuring that proposed activities are subject to a science based assessment conducted by a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP).

Sustainability Services
955 Concordia Way
Kamloops BC V2C 6V3
ph 250-828 3461
fx 250-828-3790

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