At this time, Riparia is focused on four major areas of research, and associated outreach and education activities:
- Wetlands and Watersheds: Long-term studies of the ecology and management of wetlands, streams, and riparian areas on a watershed basis.
- Ecological Indicators: Development and testing of ecological indicators for wetlands, streams, and forests with an emphasis on assessments across spatial scales from site to landscape.
- Conservation Science: Applying the principles and practices of natural sciences and social sciences to foster the conservation of biodiversity and aquatic ecosystems, with an emphasis on wetland-dependent wildlife.
- Ecological Restoration: Development of design principles and monitoring protocols for wetland creation and restoration sites based on a set of reference wetlands.
Also, Riparia has initiated several lines of inquiry associated with tool development that are promising as basic research initiatives in the immediate future. These include:
- Investigation of ecological thresholds. Research into the evidence of such thresholds, their determination and expression, and the amendment of restoration strategies given such ecosystem responses are all potential avenues under this umbrella topic.
- Determination of wetland community characteristics on a statewide basis utilizing the reference database. The database has now become extensive enough to qualify as a comprehensive expression of wetland types of the Commonwealth.
- Characterization of ecosystem characteristic responses to human disturbance. Moving beyond community-level responses to ecosystem level ones is a natural and important extension of previous work.