State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010MN275B
Title: Constraints and opportunities around watershed-wide riparian zone management at the urban-rural interface
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 5/ 1/2010
End Date: 4/30/2012
Congressional District: 4
Focus Categories: Management and Planning, Non Point Pollution, Law, Institutions, and Policy
Keywords: Human dimensions, riparian zone management
Principal Investigator: Davenport, Mae A.
Federal Funds: $ 39,584
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 80,694
Abstract: Watershed-wide riparian zone (RZ) management along the urban-rural interface poses serious challenges to communities with varying resources, coordination ability, and landowner interests. Despite the benefits of riparian buffers and a multitude of regulatory and incentive-based programs aimed at increasing compliance, enrollment, and voluntary adoption, watershed scale initiatives are lacking. Inspiring watershed-based planning requires both a baseline understanding of landowner beliefs and attitudes associated with water resources and the capacity of communities to coordinate management initiatives. The work proposed here will answer three guiding research questions: (1) What drives sustainable riparian zone management in the study watersheds? (2) What constraints do landowners and communities face in achieving effective riparian zone management both at the landowner and watershed scale? (3) How can natural resource professionals, planners and community leaders build capacity for sustainable riparian zone management?

A participatory research approach will be adopted to better understand diverse stakeholder perspectives on riparian zone management in two watersheds of along the urban-rural interface of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area in Minnesota. The study is designed to (1) identify geospatial and ownership parameters of RZ management in two watersheds, (2) explore the perspectives of natural resource managers, community leaders, and RZ landowners in the watersheds through key informant interviews, and (3) assess RZ landowner values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors across a gradient of RZ and ownership characteristics. This information will serve as a starting point for increasing watershed-wide awareness of riparian zone management constraints and opportunities, facilitating more effective communication about riparian zone best management practices, and ultimately, building community capacity for sustainable riparian zone management.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF
Progress/Completion Report, 2011, PDF

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