In the upper Columbia region, habitat restoration has been focused on the most important actions for recovering salmon and steelhead. The top priority actions have been focused on reconnecting and restoring floodplains and reconnecting side channel and off-channel habitat. Other important work has been restoring riparian areas in forests, which help shade the water, cooling it for fish. The trees drop branches and leaves into the water, which provide food for the insects salmon eat and places for salmon to rest and hide from predators. The tree roots keep the soil from entering the water and burying spawning gravel. Riparian areas are shorelines, streambanks, wetlands, and floodplains next to bodies of water that support and protect the health of the water. Addressing fish passage barriers and improving water quality also continue to be a focus in the region.