View of the Woonasquatucket River
RIDEM, EPA, and URI in partnership with the Woonasquatucket River
Watershed Council and officials from the six watershed cities
and towns undertook a multi-year project to identify and prioritize
potential wetland and buffer restoration sites in the Woonasquatucket
A comparison of aerial photographs from the 1930's and the 1990's
clearly indicates that wetland losses and degradation in the Woonasquatucket
River watershed have been great. Some of the principal causes
of wetland destruction include gravel mining and associated filling;
highway construction; and residential, commercial, and industrial
development. Urbanization and agriculture also have impacted existing
wetlands by modifying the land and vegetation along their borders.
These wetland alterations have adversely affected the entire watershed
through water quality degradation, increased flooding, and the
loss of valuable wildlife habitat.
Proactive wetland restoration offers a means for offsetting some
of this wetland loss and degradation at both local and watershed
scales. The Wetland Restoration Plan for the Woonasquatucket River
Watershed addresses two major wetland impact types: filling, which
destroys wetlands, and removal of adjacent upland vegetation,
which degrades them.
On this webpage you will find a link to the Plan, links to two
databases with important information on potential restoration
sites, and a link to the DEM Internet Map Server, where individual
sites can be viewed. We have also included a list of related links
for those who have a more general interest in wetland restoration.
It is important to note that all of these pieces--the Plan, the
maps, and the databases--are to be used in conjunction with one
another. Much of the information in both the maps and databases
is also found and explained in the Plan. Together, these three
tools provide a broad picture, and the details, of the wetland
restoration possibilities in the Woonasquatucket River watershed.
Although the Plan is a static document, the website itself will
be updated on a regular basis.
The site identification number is the common link between the
Plan, the maps and the databases. Each potential restoration site
has been assigned a site identification number that is used in
the Plan, maps and databases.
Welcome and enjoy!