In 2016, the NSWA embarked on a 3-phase Riparian Health Action Plan to improve aquatic ecosystem health across the North Saskatchewan River watershed.
The three phases of our project are to:
1. Complete an inventory and assess the condition of riparian areas in the Watershed.
2. Collaborate with local municipalities to develop coordinating riparian bylaws.
3. Develop and support programs that incentivize landowners to improve riparian health The NSWA completed the pilot project for Phase 1—a major and innovative accomplishment. In the study, they commissioned the development of a new, modern method to assess riparian condition at the watershed scale. Critically impacted areas have been identified and are being used to prioritize on-ground work (Phase 3). They currently are engaged with municipalities in Phase 2, recognizing the need to work together to align municipal policies and bylaws related to the conservation and restoration of riparian areas. In addition, the NSWA is developing a Riparian Health Web-portal to connect municipalities and landowners to riparian health information and data. The web portal will provide a consistent platform to demonstrate existing riparian conservation and restoration work in order to promote awareness, best management practices, access to funding, collaboration, and to guide future work.