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Streambank Protection

Streambank Protection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protection of streams and property by reducing bank erosion and enhancing aquatic habitat with bioengineering and establishment of vegetation.

How it works

Vegetation is planted or bioengineering measures are installed along the edges of a stream to buffer against heavy stream flows and reduce erosion. Fencing prevents cattle from trampling banks, destroying vegetation, and stirring up sediment in the streambed. A buffer zone of vegetation along the bank filters runoff, absorbs excess nutrients and chemicals, and provides increased habitat and diversity for aquatic organisms

How it helps

  • Reduces erosion with structural elements (such as large wood and possibly some rock) and grass, shrubs, trees and other cover along streambanks
  • Improves water quality by reducing amounts of nutrients, chemicals, animal waste, and sediment entering streams
  • Provides cover and habitat complexity for aquatic organisms, birds and small animals

Planning ahead

  • Are ESA considerations or special permits required?
  • Have you limited livestock access to the stream and/or planned to install an off-stream water system for livestock?
  • Will a stream crossing be needed for livestock?

Technical notes

  • Manage livestock access to the stream and riparian areas.
  • Smooth streambanks to provide an adequate seedbed for vegetation.
  • The area of vegetation along streambanks should be at least 15 to 25 feet wide. A wider buffer will provide greater storm protection.
  • Ask your conservation planner for design and construction specifications.
  • The landowner must obtain any necessary easements or permits.

Maintenance

  • Maintain good vegetative cover on all slopes and water courses.
  • Control livestock access to the streambank.
  • Keep fences repaired.
  • Avoid damaging buffer zones with herbicides from surrounding cropland.