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Construction work underway in the fall of 2008 on the fish ladder at Riverside Park, at the Atlantic Mills Dam, in Providence. Photograph by Dick Quinn, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Read more...

River Restoration & Protection

In various ways, all of the work of the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council is at least in part about restoring and protecting the Woonasquatucket River. However, this section of our website is specifically devoted to projects such as fish ladders and riparian buffer restoration, where the main focus is the direct restoration or protection of the river's ecosystem.

Fish Passage: Through our fish passage restoration effort we are working to restore access to the river for fish such as eels and herring that migrate between fresh and salt water as part of their life cycle. For more than 140 years since the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution, dams have blocked these fish from making use of the formerly thriving fish spawning grounds in the Woonasquatucket River. To learn more see the fish passage page.

Riparian Buffer & Wetland Restoration: Wetlands, and the area where the water meets dry land, know as the "riparian zone" or "riparian buffer" are critical to the health of any water body. Healthy riparian zones filters pollutants out of rainwater before they reach the river. Healthy wetlands and riparian zones slow the runoff of rainwater, thus reducing flooding, and provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife both on land and in the water. The Watershed Council has undertaken projects throughout the watershed to protect and restore the riparian buffers and wetlands along the river and its tributaries. This projects have been as simple as re-planting the riverbank with native wetland plants and as complex as rebuilding a wetland that was filled in years ago. To learn more see the riparian buffer page and our wetlands restoration page.

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