Flint River Corridor Project: A Riparian Health Analysis
Van De Genachete, Eric
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The aspect of the Flint River Corridor Project presented here involves the assessment of riparian resources along a portion of the Flint River and several major tributaries. A "Riparian Health Analysis" was conducted and focused on the riparian health of the study area, coarse land-use patterns, intact natural areas for preservation, and areas in serious need of restoration. Results show that the riparian buffer of the northern section of the study area is mostly forested and is in good health. The middle section is dominated by extensive bottomland hardwood forests and is suffering more intensive land-use. The lower section is also highly impacted, particularly by agriculture. While Kinchafoonee and Muckalee creeks still retain some healthy forested riparian buffer, extensive logging, conversion to pine plantation, and residential development in the last decade seriously threaten these ecologically significant creeks. This analysis provides baseline data on the health of the Flint River as well as priorities for protection and restoration efforts.