Restoration of Riparian Zones and Riffle Beetle Riparian Improvement
To minimize and mitigate the impacts of low flow, the City of New Braunfels will restore native riparian zones, where appropriate, to benefit the Comal Springs riffle beetle by increasing the amount usable habitat and food sources (i.e., root structures and associated biofilms). The method of riparian zone establishment will include the removal of non-native and replanting of native vegetation representative of a healthy, functioning riparian zone. Trees and plants with extensive root systems will be given preference to create the maximum beetle habitat. Fine sediment covering exposed roots and springs will also be removed. The riparian zone will be monitored (at least annually) for continued success and removal of reestablished non-natives. Riparian zones will be protected until the preferred riparian zone is established. Riparian habitat zones will be created along both sides of Spring Run 3 and along the western shoreline that is owned by City of New Braunfels.
In addition, riparian restoration also benefits the system through bank stabilization and nutrient and sediment processes. The City of New Braunfels will develop a program to incentivize private landowners on the Comal River and its tributaries to establish riparian zones along the western shoreline.