The RiverSmart Communities program combines social and river science, institutional and policy research, and community outreach at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to research and address river floods in New England. It is our vision that river management can restore the environmental integrity of rivers while ensuring that New England communities thrive in a world where floods naturally occur. To make this vision possible, our work aims to help New England’s communities become river-smart.

River-smart: 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.

A key goal is to offer ideas and tools that can be used by people and groups across New England – land and river managers, riverside property owners, policy makers, government agency staff, community leaders, grass-roots activists, and others – so they can creatively build and advocate for systems that work for their own states and communities.

In this website you can find summaries of the many projects included in the RiverSmart Communities program. You can also find educational and outreach materials that may be used to promote sustainable river management in your community.

Flooded fields

Flooded fields
Date: 
Friday, February 26, 2016
Place name or River name: 
Deerfield MA
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.546865
Longitude: 
-72.609352
Description/Comments: 

Flooded fields below Deerfield Academy, February 26, 2016.

The previous day's heavy rains flooded these fields adjacent to the Deerfield River, which runs just beyond the trees at the far edge of the fields.

Road Reconstruction, South River

Road Reconstruction, South River
Place name or River name: 
Confluence of Poland Brook and South River, Conway MA
Watershed: 
South River, Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.512818
Longitude: 
-72.743393
Description/Comments: 

Notice large tree trunks and root wads in photo foreground. It's not clear whether these had been recently removed, or were to be placed along the riverbank as part of the restoration work.  Confluence of Poland Brook (or Chapel Brook) and South River is just out of the photograph to the right.

Route 2 upper watershed repaired

Route 2 upper watershed repaired
Place name or River name: 
Mohawk Trail, Florida MA
Watershed: 
Cold River
Latitude: 
42.638058
Longitude: 
-72.981608
Description/Comments: 

Aerial view of Mohawk Trail in upper reaches of Cold River, showing areas damaged by Irene, now restored.

Bridge after repairs

Bridge after repairs
Date: 
Friday, May 15, 2015
Watershed: 
Cold River
Description/Comments: 

Photo taken May 2015 shows the bridge and abutment 18 months after repairs have been completed. The Cold River is coming down from left center of picture; Black Brook enters from lower left of picture, behind silhouetted trees.

Chickley River near Scott Road upstream - May 26 2015

Date: 
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Place name or River name: 
Hawley MA
Watershed: 
Chickley River
Description/Comments: 

River in May 2015.  Riparian plantings have just been installed. Some natural revegetation is also occurring.

Category: 

Storm cleanup

Storm cleanup
Place name or River name: 
Hawley MA.
Watershed: 
Chickley River
Description/Comments: 

Cleaning up storm damage after Hurricane Irene. 

Turner photo.

Category: 

Bridge repair - November 2011

Bridge repair, November 2011
Date: 
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Description/Comments: 

Route 2 Bridge over Cold River, November 2011. Repair of bridge from Tropical Storm Irene damage are in process. The road was reopened in December.

Category: 

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