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.
This tributary of the Green River runs along Jelly Mill Road in Guilford, Vermont.
Green River in Halifax Vermont.
In this photo, riprap protecting Green River Road can be seen on the right. This was installed to repair damage from Tropical Storm Irene.
Notice the tree in the center of the photograph, perched on a peninsula between the Green River on the right and an intermittent tributary on the left. The Green River is cutting into the bank here, exposing roots. It is only a matter of time before the tree collapses.
Downstream view of the Green River from Deer Park Road bridge. Evidence of bank scouring can be seen on the right bank.
An unnamed tributary joins the Green River in this headwaters reach. Large boulders at the right of the photo are riprap protecting Green River Road.
Rake Branch of the Deerfield River in Searsburg, Vermont.
Rake Branch of the Deerfield River, in Somerset Vermont.
This view is looking downstream towards the Deerfield, which runs left to right at the base of the hill in the distance.
Deerfield River from a wooden bridge on a spur road off of Forest Road 71. The Deerfield has become quite small by this point. This is about 1 mile above the confluence with the Glastenbury River, which is itself a rather small stream.