The riparian zone or the streamside vegetative buffer is a transition between the flowing water of the river and the terrestrial ecosystems along the bank and in wetlands, side-channels and islands. While the riparian zone comprises under ten percent of the land mass in the US, it provides around ninety-nine percent of the instream nutrients to the aquatic food chain. Riparian vegetation provides shade to maintain the temperatures where native biodiversity flourishes. The leaves and woody debris provide nutrients for aquatic plants and the insects upon which fish feed. Simply put, healthy riparian zones mean healthier rivers. Riparian Tours’ name is an intentional nod to this part of the overall watershed.