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.
Chickley River near Scott Road.
Full panorama http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/139349
Pond Road in Hawley, washed out by Clesson Brook flood waters during Hurricane Irene, August 2011.
This culvert under Pond Road in Hawley, near the headwaters of Clesson Brook, was overwhelmed by the brook during Hurricane Irene, August 2011.
Route 8A being torn apart by the Chickley River during Hurricane Irene. August 2011.
Hawley town garage undermined by Chickley River during Hurricane Irene.