Deerfield River looking downstream towards Sherman Reservoir. Harriman power station is behind the trees on the left.
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.
Sherman Reservoir, looking upstream towards the head of the reservoir. This shot is taken from the picnic area on the reservoir.
Looking downstream towards the dam, about a mile away. This shot is taken from the picnic area on the reservoir.
Downstream view of Deerfield River at Monroe Bridge, Massachusetts. Notice the kayakers on the lower left. The spot is popular with white water enthusiasts, who frequent the river during scheduled flow releases.
This reach used to be called The Dryway. Prior to the most recent dam relicensing, there were times when all water was held back as part of the power generation process. This left a dry streambed. Now there is a minimum flow of 73 cfs.
Looking upstream at Cold River, at confluence with Black Brook, coming in from the left at bottomo of photo.
This is five years after Tropical Storm Irene damage and subsequent repair work by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
Landslide along Route 2 in Savoy, Massachusetts. This occurred during Tropical Storm Irene, August 2011.
Photo taken Fall 2015.
Looking upstream at Cold River as it joins the Deerfield River off to the right.
The Deerfield in late summer, approximately 1/2 mile above Stillwater Bridge in South Deerfield.
Looking upstream from Stillwater Bridge in Deerfield Massachusetts.
February 2016, one day after heavy rains in the watershed.