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.

Deerfield River at confluence with West Branch

Deerfield River at confluence with West Branch
Place name or River name: 
Readsboro, Vermont
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.770385
Longitude: 
-72.947851
Description/Comments: 

Looking downstream towards the Deerfield River, at its confluence with the West Branch. The West Branch is in the immediate foreground, the Deerfield can be seen coming in from the left. 

Deerfield River below confluence with West Branch

Deerfield River below confluence with West Branch
Place name or River name: 
Readsboro, Vermont
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.762686
Longitude: 
-72.943882
Description/Comments: 

Looking upstream at the Deerfield River as it heads south from the confluence with the West Branch, just south of Readsboro. 

Category: 

Deerfield River above Sherman Reservoir - upstream view

Deerfield River above Sherman Reservoir - upstream view
Place name or River name: 
Readsboro, Vermont
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.759182
Longitude: 
-72.936360
Description/Comments: 

The Deerfield River between Readsboro Vermont and Somerset Reservoir, which straddles the Vermont-Massachusetts border.  This spot is about 1/2 mile above the head of the reservoir.  The river's gradient has dminished significantly by this point. Both upstream branches consist largely of riffles for their last mile or more.   

Category: 

Deerfield River above Sherman Reservoir - downstream view

Deerfield River above Sherman Reservoir - downstream view
Place name or River name: 
Readsboro Vermont
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.759182
Longitude: 
-72.936360
Description/Comments: 

Deerfield River looking downstream towards Sherman Reservoir. Harriman power station is behind the trees on the left.

Category: 

Sherman Reservoir, upstream view

Sherman Reservoir, upstream view
Place name or River name: 
Sherman Reservoir
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.745237
Longitude: 
-72.926265
Description/Comments: 

Sherman Reservoir, looking upstream  towards the head of the reservoir. This shot is taken from the picnic area on the reservoir.

Sherman Reservoir, downstream view

Sherman Reservoir, downstream view
Place name or River name: 
Sherman Reservoir
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.745237
Longitude: 
-72.926265
Description/Comments: 

Looking downstream towards the dam, about a mile away. This shot is taken from the picnic area on the reservoir.

Deerfield River at Monroe Bridge MA

Deerfield River at Monroe Bridge MA
Place name or River name: 
Monroe Bridge, Massachusetts
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.722254
Longitude: 
-72.938881
Description/Comments: 

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.  

Cold River 2-26-2016

Cold River 2-26-2016
Latitude: 
42.632869
Longitude: 
-72.974131
Description/Comments: 

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.

Date: 
Friday, February 26, 2016

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