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 from Mill Village Road - upstream view

Deerfield River from Mill Village Road - upstream view
Place name or River name: 
Mill Village Road, Deerfield MA
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.523938
Longitude: 
-72.614322
Description/Comments: 

Deerfield River from Mill Village Road in Deerfield Massachusetts.

Old Deerfield village and Deerfield Academy are about 1 mile downstream of this spot.

Photo taken February 26, 2016, after a day of heavy rain.

Date: 
Friday, February 26, 2016

Toward Deerfield Treatment Plant

Toward Deerfield Treatment Plant
Place name or River name: 
Deerfield River, from Deerfield Academy
Watershed: 
Deerfield River
Latitude: 
42.546865
Longitude: 
-72.609352
Description/Comments: 

Looking towards Deerfield River and the Deerfield treatment plant in the distance. Water in the foreground has flooded fields below Deerfield Academy. Flows on this date (February 26, 2016) were about 20,000 CFS; less than 1/4 the flows experienced during Tropical Storm Irene.

Deerfield River from Rt 5 Bridge upstream view

Deerfield River from Rt 5 Bridge upstream view
Place name or River name: 
Greenfield MA
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.569444
Longitude: 
-72.592012
Description/Comments: 

The Deerfield River from Route 5 Bridge in Greenfield, looking upstream.
Municipal golf course is on the right, behind the thin line of riparian trees.

Category: 

Deerfield River near CT River

Place name or River name: 
Greenfield MA
Watershed: 
Deerfield River
Latitude: 
42.574312
Longitude: 
-72.578578
Description/Comments: 

Deerfield River, approximately 1/4 mile upstream from its confluence with the Connecticut River. Sand and other fine materials dominate the floodplain sediment in this stretch of river.

Category: 

Deerfield River near Connecticut - downstream and across view

Deerfield River near Connecticut - downstream and across view
Place name or River name: 
Greenfield MA
Watershed: 
Deerfield
Latitude: 
42.574312
Longitude: 
-72.578578
Description/Comments: 

Deerfield River, approximately 1/4 mile upstream from its confluence with the Connecticut River. Sand and other fine materials dominate the floodplain sediment in this stretch of river.

Category: 

Deerfield near Connecticut River - upstream view

Place name or River name: 
Greenfield MA
Watershed: 
Deerfield River
Latitude: 
42.574312
Longitude: 
-72.578578
Description/Comments: 

Upstream view of Deerfield as it nears the Connecticut River. Franklin County Greenway runs along the river on the opposite shore.

Category: 

Deerfield - Connecticut River confluence

Deerfield - Connecticut River confluence
Place name or River name: 
Greenfield / Montague MA
Watershed: 
Deerfield / Connecticut
Latitude: 
42.581071
Longitude: 
-72.579077
Description/Comments: 

The mouth of the Deerfield River, viewed from the Montague City Road Bridge on the Deerfield/Montague line. The Deerfield is coming in from the center - right, the Connecticut comes in from the right and flows off to the left.

Category: 
Date: 
Saturday, April 16, 2016

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