What does being "river-smart" mean?

It means to manage rivers and riverside landscapes, as well as our own actions and expectations, so people and communities are more resilient to river floods.

Rivers naturally move and change over time and space. Trying to harness rivers into obedient linear and invariable water courses will usually result in problems later or downstream or both when a very large storm causes a devastating flood-- problems such as stream bank failures, bridge and road collapse, or farm field destruction.

But a river-smart community will reduce flood severity, flood damage, and flood costs by understanding and accommodating the natural dynamics of rivers and river floods.

Learn to be river-smart

  1. Understand and apply the science of river dynamics
    What is Fluvial Geomorphology?
    16 Insights about River Flood Hazards
  2. Become familiar with programs / trainings on ways to build and live near rivers
    Living in Harmony with Streams
    The MA Stream Crossing handbook is a great resource
    Vermont River and Roads Training Programs - Field Guide
    Municipal Guide to Fluvial Erosion Hazard Mitigation
    Massachusetts StormSmart Communities Program
  3. Become familiar with river protection programs
    Coming soon...