The purpose of the provincial Riparian Areas Protection Regulation (RAPR) (formerly known as Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR)) is to provide protection for riparian areas from development that would damage fish habitat. Riparian areas broadly refer to streams, lakes, and wetlands, but, the main focus of this initiative is on watercourses that support fish habitat. Enacted in 2004, the RAPR requires local governments in the province to adopt bylaws to control development within 30 metres of streams that support fish habitat. The Thetis Island Local Trust Committee and the Islands Trust are working to protect fish habitat through compliance with the British Columbia Riparian Areas Protection Regulation (RAPR).
Why do Riparian Areas Matter?
Riparian areas are ecosystems that surround rivers, streams, wetlands and other freshwater bodies. These important zones where the land meets the water are characterized by dense vegetation that thrives in moist soils and host a wide variety of plant and animal life. Riparian areas are vital not only to support the flora and fauna that call them home, but also because they create favourable habitat for anadromous fish (sea-going fish that return to freshwater to spawn), amphibians, and other aquatic species by filtering pollutants, slowing run-off and regulating water temperature.
It is critical that these unique ecosystems be protected from development. The Thetis Island Local Trust Committee is working to protect riparian areas in the Local Trust Area by using a Development Permit Area to require special consideration and protection measures when development is proposed near sensitive freshwater features.
Riparian Areas Regulation - Information Materials
Staff Reports and Project Documents