Riparian areas are plant communities contiguous to and affected by surface and subsurface hydrologic features of perennial or intermittent lotic and lentic water bodies (rivers, streams, lakes, or drainage ways). Riparian areas are usually transitional between wetland and upland. Riparian areas have one or both of the following characteristics:

  1. distinctly different vegetative species than adjacent areas.
  2. species similar to adjacent areas but exhibiting more vigorous or robust growth forms.