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Municipal Leaders

Rural and urban municipal leaders create plans, bylaws and incentive programs to protect and manage riparian areas. They also educate citizens and landowners about the importance of these areas and facilitate the adoption of beneficial management practices.

Some Beneficial Management Practices for Municipal Leaders include:

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Ensure that your municipality has policies for sufficient development setbacks and buffers of native plants to safeguard water bodies

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Improve stormwater management by controlling the rate and volume of runoff from developments; require “low impact development” techniques in new development

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Manage the lands adjacent to riparian areas, through techniques such as wetland conservation, to ensure that riparian areas are not being overloaded

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Utilize policy tools such as Environmental Reserves, Conservation Reserves and Conservation Easements to ensure that hazard and sensitive lands are not developed; enforcement of these policies prevents encroachment

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Ensure riparian areas are protected during development construction by using sufficient construction standards and management

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Minimize erosion, maintain slopes and prevent disturbance in or close to riparian areas

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Encourage and support landowners and community initiatives to maintain and improve riparian areas through water and land stewardship groups

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Eliminate or control invasive species in municipal riparian areas and promote natural and native species along shorelines

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Educate the public about recreational use impacts and why some activities are restricted to specific places or seasons


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Urban Communities

This NSWA guide covers jurisdictional  considerations, planning and development, public riparian area stewardship and a riparian health case study.

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Setbacks & Buffers

This brochure provides Alberta's Sustainable Resource Development Standard for riparian setbacks and buffers.

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The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) is working to address issues related to water quality, invasive species and riparian health. 

BRWA FINAL RAM Implementation Guidelines


The BRWA created actions and strategies to promote riparian health and to address root causes of riparian health issues in
the watershed.

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Guide for LID

This comprehensive guide provides detailed information on how to plan new developments with LID principles in mind. It also gives an overview of green roofs, bioswales, and other LID techniques.

Riparian Lands Alta - Conservation Mgmt


This report summarizes the current state of riparian health
in the province, key
considerations, management strategies, and barriers

to success.

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This program supports farmers
who want to remain

while also considering the environment.

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GOA Fish Crossing

Helping municipalities to remediate and reclaim roadway crossings that are causing issues for fish habitat.

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GOA Data

GeoDiscover Alberta provides data for decision-making, research, and building apps. Data for the Battle River and North Saskatchewan River watersheds is now available here.

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Summer villages

Summer villages as municipalities have specific considerations because they live in such close proximity to riparian areas. This guide addresses issues and considerations for lakeshore owners.

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This guide outlines the importance of considering riparian areas when developing new infrastructure near water and outlines buffer widths and setbacks.


Municipal examples

This brochure provides Alberta's Sustainable Resource Development Standard for riparian setbacks and buffers.

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Feedback Report

This 2017 report discusses how the Environmental Reserve tool has been applied at the municipal level.

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This website provides tools
for landowners and land
managers who are looking
for creative
methods and tools to
co-exist with beavers.

Calgary Riparian Strategies Healthy Comm


This booklet explains how the City of Calgary engaged the local community to care for riparian areas and become involved in taking action.

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Alta Service Board

The Agricultural Service Board Grant supports initiatives to control weeds, conserve soil health, and various other agricultural initiatives.

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Natural Infrastructure

Providing municipalities with tools to implement green infrastructure such as riparian areas and buffers.

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