A collaboration of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) and the University of Rhode Island Department of Natural Resources Science began in the summer of 1999 to identify and prioritize wetland sites for future restoration. This project is funded by the EPA and has two phases.

Phase I:

  • Development of restoration site identification methods, using current and historical aerial photos, RIGIS data, field surveys.
  • Development of site nomination form to involve watershed residents and to benefit from local knowledge base.
  • Review of proposed methods by watershed and wetland restoration stakeholders.

Phase II:

  • Identification of sites in the entire watershed.
  • Prioritization of identified sites.
  • Feasibility studies at selected high-priority sites.
  • Feasibility study (ecological, economic, administrative) – e.g. cost estimates, logistical concerns.
    Development of a Freshwater Wetland Restoration Plan for the entire watershed including site recommendations, potential funding sources, etc.
  • Creation of a web site that focuses of freshwater wetland restoration in Rhode Island.
  • Collaboration with watershed residents, wetland restoration stakeholders, and other restoration programs throughout the project.

Read the Project Overview (PDF Format)

Using this survey, the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council partnered with other groups to restore a large wetland at Deerfield Park in Smithfield.