New Field Guide to Texas Riparian Areas

Learn How Rivers Work

Sept. 7, 2016

The latest editions of Your Remarkable Riparian Field Guide and Your Remarkable Riparian Owner’s Manual now include urban areas and riparian plants found in most of Texas.

These beautifully illustrated publications are extremely useful for those wanting to better understand bayous and streams, how they work, and change and move sediment, what is growing there, and why riparian areas are so important for the health of our waters.

Landowners on the bayou will be interested in the Owner’s Manual written by Steve Nelle, wildlife biologist and conservationist retired in 2011 from the Natural Resources Conservation Service after 28 years. Nelle is now an advisor, teacher, and leader in spreading riparian understanding.

While much of the Owner’s Manual is dedicated to rural, agricultural, and forest areas, Nelle also provides insight into urban issues. And the principles of riparian management and function remain the same.

The Field Guide describes the function of native riparian trees and plants, grasses, vines and more, and identifies them with plenty of photographs and fascinating historical references. In a section called “Learning to See,” the book explains how to identify functional and dysfunctional riparian areas.

The companion booklets, available for $44 a set, were published in April 2016 by the Nueces River Authority and edited by Sky Jones-Lewey, the authority’s resource protection and education director. The Nueces River Authority also created the UP2U program for distributing reusable mesh bags for collecting river trash. Houston Boy Scout Saswat Pati recently built and installed boxes for the bags on Buffalo Bayou and Spring Creek.


Wildlife tracks in the sand in Memorial Park on Buffalo Bayou. Photo by Susan Chadwick, March 18, 2016.

Wildlife tracks in the sand in Memorial Park on Buffalo Bayou. Photo by Susan Chadwick, March 18, 2016.


2 thoughts on “New Field Guide to Texas Riparian Areas”

  1. Janice Walden says:

    Thank you, Susan, for posting this Remarkable Riparian offering! This collection is TRULY remarkable in its ease of use and informative layman style to better understand “nature’s design” and how to restore streams. Hats off to Sky Lewey and cohorts for creating this invaluable series for Texas streams.

  2. David Risch says:

    For those interested in stream dynamics of erosion and deposition, there is a geology field trip for families on Panther Creek south of the Woodlands this Sunday Oct 16 at 11-3pm. This event is part of Earth Week activities and is sponsored by the Houston Geological Society. Here are a couple links to more information.

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