The riparian restoration indicator measures the length of stream-side plantings implemented by restoration projects along riparian corridors. Intact riparian corridors are critical for keeping fresh and marine waters clean and cool, moderating variability in water volume and timing of flow (flood storage), and offering key habitat for numerous terrestrial, freshwater, and interface species, such as salmon.
Estimated annual and cumulative length of restored riparian vegetation (in miles) based on the 'Total Riparian Miles of Streambank Treated (C.5.b.1)' and 'Total Riparian Miles of Streambank Planted (C.5.c.4) metric as reported in Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office's Project Information System (PRISM). Cumulative miles for each metric are shown on the right axis. Data are shown through October, 2020 and are not yet complete until after the end of the calendar year.
Key Vital Sign Indicator Results
The cumulative amount of restored vegetation along riparian corridors in the Puget Sound basin increases incrementally every year, therefore, progress of the indicator is categorized as "Getting Better".
Activities to restore vegetation in riparian areas were reported as completed for 165 projects along an estimated 393 linear miles of streams and rivers between 2009 and 2020. Riparian restoration is reported under the metric "total riparian miles streambank treated (C.5.c.1)" by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Activites include native plant revegetation as well as removal of invasive species or other restoration activities to reestablish riparian functions.
Starting in 2015, some restoration projects began reporting specifically on the length of stream with riparian planting under the metric "miles of streambank planted (C.5.c.4)". Between 2015 and 2020, 49 projects reported a total of 44 miles of streambank planted.
In 2020, all of the completed riparian restoration projects reported values for both metrics. That year, there was a totoal of 76 miles of streambank treated, and nearly 6 miles of streambank planted.
The intent of the riparian vegetation restoration indicator is to measure the amount of new vegetated cover delivered by restoration projects along riparian corridors. Because the estimate of the streambank treated metric likely overestimates the length of restored vegetated cover, and the lack of a complete record of the streambank planted metric, the status of the indicator relative to the target is uncertain and kept as "Below the 2020 target", until further review.
Restore 268 miles of riparian vegetation or have an equivalent extent of restoration projects under way by 2020.
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office’s Project Information System (PRISM)