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.

Stream and infrastructure

Stream and infrastructure
Place name or River name: 
Ashfield
Watershed: 
South River
Description/Comments: 

Just a few feet separate this dwelling on the left, the stream in the middle, and Creamery Road on the right, just outside the picture.

Hallockville Pond

Hallockville Pond
Place name or River name: 
Hallockville Pond and King Brook, Plainfield/Hawley border
Watershed: 
Chickley River, to Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.551667
Longitude: 
-72.941325
Description/Comments: 

Hallockville Pond draining into King Brook. Hallockville Pond is in Plainfield. Upon leaving the pond, King Brook enters Hawley, where it follows Route 8A down to the Chickley River.

Route 116 is about 1/2 mile south of this spot. In this area, Route 116 reaches its highest elevation, roughly 1700 feet.

Route 2 and Cold River - September 2011

Route 2 and Cold River September 2011
Watershed: 
Cold River
Description/Comments: 

Route 2 and Cold River in September 2011, days after Irene hit. The damaged section is in shadow, but about 300 yards of Route 2 is gone.

Route 2 and Cold River in 2015

Route 2 and Cold River in 2015
Watershed: 
Cold River
Description/Comments: 

Route 2 and Cold River in 2015. A small landslide remains in evidence today - seen on north side of the river.

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