Restoration of ecosystems is increasingly proposed as a strategy for improving water quality. Although this approach makes intuitive sense, practitioners have received little guidance from researchers on the effectiveness of and concerns associated with particular techniques. This reflects a fundamental disconnect between researchers and practitioners, with research targeting narrowly focused, discipline specific topics (e.g., researchers interested in restoration of plant communities do not investigate water quality, water quality researchers do not investigate plant communities, and specialists from both disciplines seldom interact). This review includes a representative set of 294 articles concerning riparian management and restoration. In order for a paper, book, or other contribution to be selected as representative, it had to discuss data in the context of riparian ecosystems, and it also had to discuss at least one or more of three subject categories: (1) environmental management practice, (2) water quality, and/or (3) riparian restoration. Thus, our review is limited to riparian management research that discusses water quality and/or restoration.