Science and research

The Riparian Areas Protection Regulation (RAPR) assessment methodology was developed through consultation with a number of provincial and federal scientists, and review of the pertinent scientific literature.

In the RAPR assessment, potential fish habitat impacts are examined in a 30 metre riparian assessment area. The focus of the assessment is on riparian vegetation and its functional role in maintaining fish habitat. It involves a determination of whether or not (and how) the site provides those features, functions, and conditions that maintain fish habitat.

The main functions addressed in the assessment are:

  • The role of riparian vegetation in providing wood for in-stream channel and fish habitat structure
  • The role of rooted vegetation in stabilizing the stream banks
  • The role of the sites vegetation in providing shade and maintaining stream water temperature, in providing food and nutrients for fish, and in filtering sediment

The assessment also describes how to develop measures to maintain the integrity of the area that provides these functions, and protect the area from harms that could come from proposed development.