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About RiverSmart

RiverSmart Communities began as an integrated research (both river science and social science) and extension project sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment to address pressing needs in the Commonwealth. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, we recognized that a greater understanding of challenges surrounding ecologically supportive and community resilient management of rivers and the lands surrounding them would help us address flooding more effectively. As our initial research progressed, we developed collaborations with other research and community groups, and have acquired additional grants for related and complementary work. This website is now the home for three projects:

  • RiverSmart (the original project)
    A project for New England Communities combining river science with institutional insights for resilient river management.
  • Farms, Floods and Fluvial Geomorphology
    What is the role of farms in floodplains? What resources help farmers before and after floods? The goal of this project is to promote knowledge about the role of farms in the flood plain, natural fluvial and geomorphological processes, and apply that knowledge to a whole watershed to promote coordinated watershed management.
  • RiverSmart and Federal Collaborators
    This project recognizes the significant role of federal agencies and programs in flood response and recovery, and undertakes specific workshops and research activities to optimize the partnership between federal agencies and state or local counterparts for the best possible resilient river management in New England.

What does RiverSmart mean?
Managing rivers and riverside landscapes, as well as our own actions and expectations, so people and communities are more resilient to river floods.

Specifically: reducing flood severity, flood damage, and flood costs by understanding and accommodating the natural dynamics of rivers and river floods.