Wood-Pawcatuck Flood Resiliency Management Plan Meetings

The Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association (WPWA), with a grant from the Hurricane Sandy Community Resiliency Grants Program, has developed a Flood Resiliency Management Plan to help communities in the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed become more resilient to the impacts of flooding, while also benefiting water quality, fish and wildlife, and habitat. The draft of the final plan has been completed! It can be downloaded from the WPWA website at http://wpwa.org/flood_resiliency.html.

WPWA is holding two community meetings for municipal staff and the public to present the plan and to obtain feedback from the watershed communities that will help shape the final plan. The meetings will be held on:

1. Friday, June 23, 2017 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Westerly Library, Third Floor Terrace Room, 44 Broad Street, Westerly, RI 02891.

2. Wednesday, June 28, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Richmond Community/Senior Citizen Center, 1168 Main Street, Wyoming, RI 02898.

Project Background

The Pawcatuck River watershed covers an area of approximately 317 square-miles in southern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut, including all or portions of 14 communities. The history of flooding and flood damages in the Wood-Pawcatuck River watershed is well-documented. The landmark 2010 flood remains the flood of record for the region, with extreme precipitation and flooding events becoming more frequent in the northeast as a result of climate change.

The primary objectives of this watershed planning project are to:

  • Assess the vulnerability of the Wood-Pawcatuck River watershed to flooding and storm-related damages,
  • Develop a comprehensive, watershed-based management plan to help communities become more resilient to the impacts of flooding (i.e., enhance flood resilience) and
  • Focus on strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit water quality, fish and wildlife, and habitat.

The management plan builds upon and integrates information from previous and ongoing work within the watershed. It identifies watershed-wide and site-specific project recommendations throughout the Pawcatuck River watershed. It includes potential management alternatives such as land use policies and regulations, active and passive restoration (i.e., bridge and culvert retrofits or replacement, stream buffer restoration, stream bank stabilization, river restoration, corridor easements), green stormwater infrastructure, wetland and habitat restoration, and related water quality mitigation. Many of these recommendations are town specific, and can be used by planners and officials to apply for funding for projects.

If you have any questions about the plan or the community meetings please contact Denise Poyer by email at denisep@wpwa.org or by calling (401) 539-9017.