Riparian areas sustain high biodiversity and provide corridors and habitats for wildlife. The Salt River riparian habitat in the Phoenix metropolitan area has been altered by upstream damming, flow diversion, stream channelization, and floodplain conversion to urban lands. Portions of the river and its riparian zone have undergone active restoration, some areas are targeted for future restoration, and some areas have revegetated on their own in response to discharge of water from urban storm drains (passive restoration). Our project focuses on six, 1-km reaches along the Salt River to monitor plants and wildlife. Our results will provide recommendation to natural resource managers of urban areas relating habitat and wildlife to restoration activities.
We have presented our research at the Wildlife Society (listen to oral presentation). Our research as been highlighted in a web module for middle-school age kids in the Ecology Explorers program of the CAP LTER.