The restoration of a riparian corridor project was a demonstration project sponsored by the San Juan Bay Estuary and Watershed Program (SJBEWP).
The restoration of a riparian corridor project was a demonstration project sponsored by the San Juan Bay Estuary and Watershed Program (SJBEWP). The overall all goal of the SJBEWP is to develop a management plan for the estuary, and one component of the plan was to determine the feasibility of restoring riparian vegetation. The specific goals of the restoration project were to identify appropriate techniques and species to reforest riparian areas within an urban setting. If successful, projects like this could help to reduce erosion and provide habitat for many organisms.
In August 1999, a total of 739 individuals of 21 native trees and shrubs species were planted at a density of approximately 2,000 plants/ha in an area of approximately 0.36 ha. Virtually all species had survivorship greater than 90%. To reduce the competition with grasses and vines in the immediate vicinity of the plants we placed 1 x 1 m ground cloth around each plant. We also constructed debris barriers to reduce the damage to plants during flooding events.
Plant growth was very good during the first year. The mean initial height of all individuals at the beginning of the study was 120 cm. The average height increased to 146 cm after 6 months and 181 cm after 12 months. Six of the 23 species had average heights greater than 200 cm and the canopy of many trees are converging, which will begin to shade out the grass. (SJBEWP).