Beaver Pond on an unnamed tributary of the Deerfield River, off of Forest Road 71, in the Green Mountain National Forest. This pond is about 1/3 mile east of the Deerfield in its headwaters reaches.
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.
Landslide looking down towards Route 2 and the Cold River.
Landslide occurred August 2011, during Tropical Storm Irene.
Photo taken Fall 2015.
King Brook, looking downstream from the outlet of Hallockville Pond. Notice the breached stone dam in the mid distance. The size of the trees behind the dam give an idea of how long its been since the dam was last in use.
This reach is typical of high gradient, forested headwater streams that have a step-pool shape. Boulders or fallen tree limbs span much or all of the channel. Water flows over these obstructions, in a series of small stepped waterfalls into the next dowstream pools. They are commeon in gradients ranging from 5 to 20%.
Small waterfall and step pools, King Brook.
Aerial view of Mohawk Trail in upper reaches of Cold River, showing areas damaged by Irene, now restored.
Chickley River near Scott Road, Hawley - downstream view. A family camp on this spot was washed away by Irene.