Riparian and Wetland Restoration

Riparian areas are creek and stream buffer zones and provide a wide suite of ecosystem functions that include storing floodwater, recharging groundwater, sequestering carbon, controlling pollution and nutrient flow and providing species habitat corridors. Riparia are commonly recognized as “sponges” that maintain water quality and regulate hydrologic fluxes.

In urban areas, land development dramatically increases land surface impervious cover, resulting in reduced rainwater infiltration and significantly higher peak flows in watershed creeks and streams. High erosion leads to bank destabilization. Exotic species thrive in unstable environments. As riparian zones lose their natural functions, water quality and quantity degrade and biodiversity is diminished.

ESC has been repairing riparian systems along several Austin creeks, including Blunn, Bouldin, and Shoal creeks. We are especially proud of our Oak Springs daylighting and restoration project.

Raingardens, bioswales, berms and other rainscapes are a great way to keep rainwater in place and reduce urban runoff. With appropriate native plant species, rainscapes can enhance a landscape and provide pollinator habitat. ESC has extensive experience planning, designing, and building rainscapes.

Rural central Texas riparia can have a unique set of problems. Cattle and goat grazing in riparian areas can lead to serious erosion problems and loss of ecosystem services. Deer herbivory reduces plant diversity. Riparian restoration on ranches is multifold, beginning with fencing off any cattle and reducing deer predation, followed by successional strategies to return previous native plant species to the system.

With careful restoration and management efforts, it is possible to repair riparian natural creek form and function and restore ecosystem resiliency and species diversity.

  • Manage wetland and wildlife corridors

  • Reconstruct stream channels to natural configurations

HIGHLIGHTED PROJECTS