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Environmental & Resource Protection
What is a Riparian Corridor?

A riparian corridor is a unique plant community consisting of the vegetation growing near a river, stream, lake, lagoon or other natural body of water. It serves a variety of functions important to people and the environment as a whole by:

  • Preserving water quality by filtering sediment from runoff before it enters rivers and streams.
  • Protecting stream banks from erosion.
  • Providing a storage area for flood waters.
  • Providing food and habitat for fish and wildlife.
  • Preserving open space and aesthetic surroundings.

Development activities (such as grading, land clearing, building and tree or shrub removal) other than those allowed through exemptions and exceptions are not allowed in and adjacent to riparian corridors.

A riparian woodland is a plant community that includes these woody plant species that typically occur in wet areas along streams or marshes. Characteristic species include black cottonwood, red alder, sycamore, white alder, box elder, creek dogwood and willow. Some riparian woodlands are shown on the County General Plan maps while other can be identified by field investigation.

Riparian vegetation is typically plant species that occur in wet areas along streams or marshes.

Woody vegetation is a plant that uses wood as its structural tissue. These are typically perennial plants whose stems and larger roots are reinforced with wood produced adjacent to the vascular tissues. The main stem, larger branches, and roots of these plants are usually covered by a layer of thickened bark. Woody plants are usually either trees, shrubs, or lianas. Wood is a structural cellular adaptation that allows woody plants to grow from above ground stems year after year, thus making some woody plants the largest and tallest plants.