Word of the Day

Sunday, October 20, 2002


\rih-PAIR-ee-uhn; ry-PAIR-ee-uhn\ , adjective;
Of or pertaining to the bank of a river or stream.
Riparian areas are the green, vegetated areas on each side of streams and rivers. They serve many important functions, including purifying water by removing sediments and other contaminants; reducing the risk of flooding and associated damage; reducing stream channel and streambank erosion; increasing available water and stream flow duration by holding water in stream banks and aquifers; supporting a diversity of plant and wildlife species; maintaining a habitat for healthy fish populations; providing water, forage, and shade for wildlife and livestock; and creating opportunities for recreationists to fish, camp, picnic, and enjoy other activities.
-- Jeremy M. Brodie, "Ribbons of Green", Bureau of Land Management Environmental Education Home Page
Along its serpentine course, the Charles River widens and narrows, and its riparian sounds swell to crescendos in places or relax to the low purr of a river at peace.
-- Craig Lambert, Mind Over Water: Lessons on Life from the Art of Rowing
[The vireo's] comeback may prove that habitat along streams in Southern California is recovering from the effects of pollution caused by decades of urban development. That is a critical indicator of environmental health in a state that has lost 97% of its riparian woodlands, more than any other state.
-- Gary Polakovic, "Songbird's Numbers Crescendo", Los Angeles Times, August 22, 1999
[What about your social circle?] "A steady stream of brilliant American intellectuals visiting me in the riparian solitude of a beautifully reflected sunset."
-- Vladimir Nabokov, "Nabokov on Nabokov and Things", New York Times, May 12, 1968
Riparian is from the Latin, ripari-us + -an, from Latin ripa, the bank of a river.
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