The floodplain environmentally sensitive area (ESA) exists on the terraced banks surrounding waterways where the land is subject to flooding. Floodplain ESA habitat is often an extension of the more sensitive Riparian Buffer habitat that exists immediately surrounding waterways.
Typical Floodplain ESA habitat is dominated by tree species that can tolerate intermittent flood events, such as cedar elm, pecan, western soapberry, American elm, Osage orange (bois d'arc), hackberry (sugarberry), and honey locust. Floodplains on the prairie soils on the western side of Denton may be dominated by switchgrass and other native grasses and vegetation.
Floodplains are an important part of riparian ecosystems that traps sediment and particulate organic matter outside the active channel during overbank flows and flood events. Protected floodplains allow waterway channels to accept deposition and erosion, leading to natural meandering and providing a defense against damaging flood events.