Habitat Degradation

When stream banks are trampled, excessive sediment is introduced, river corridors are channelized, riparian cover is removed – and the health of a river or stream is compromised.

In California, we see this occurring because of the following:

Residential Development
Environmentally insensitive residential development impacts rivers and streams from levee construction, encroachment of the floodplain, diversions, and the run-off of silt and other non-point source pollutants.

Commercial Development
This work is often sited in riparian areas and harms fish from the construction of levees and diversions, and from non-point pollution run-off.

Recreation
Millions of Californians and visitors gather each year to enjoy recreational opportunities – such as swimming, boating, rafting, fishing – on our waterways. This activity impacts water quality and riparian habitats from off-road vehicle use and from modified river flows for boating and rafting.

Grazing
Riparian areas and streambeds are modified and adversely impacted by livestock grazing.

Mining (In-Stream)
Streambed integrity and spawning areas are altered by excavation.

Roads and Railroads
Since roads are often located in stream corridors, they frequently alter channels and impede critical fish movement and migration.