About RiverSmart Communities

RiverSmart Communities began as an integrated research (both river science and social science) and extension project sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment to address pressing needs in the Commonwealth. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, we recognized that a greater understanding of challenges surrounding ecologically supportive and community resilient management of rivers and the lands surrounding them would help us address flooding more effectively. As our initial research progressed, we developed collaborations with other research and community groups, and have acquired additional grants for related and complementary work. This website is now the home for three projects:

RiverSmart Communities (the original project)

A project for New England Communities combining river science with institutional insights for resilient river management. We researched groups and programs that are successfully helping communities to become river-smart. We profiled three of these, and used our learning to inform policy recommendations.
Funded by University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

Farms, Floods and Fluvial Geomorphology

What is the role of farms in floodplains? What resources help farmers before and after floods? The goal of this project was to promote knowledge about the role of farms in the flood plain, natural fluvial and geomorphological processes, and apply that knowledge to a whole watershed to promote coordinated watershed management.
Funded by the US Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture

RiverSmart Communities and Federal Collaborators

This project aimed to improve federal and state programs so they can more successfully help New England communities become river-smart. Our major product is a policy recommendation report, Supporting New England Communities to Become River-Smart: Policies and programs that can help New England towns thrive despite river floods, published in 2016.
Funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Institute for Water Resources