Narrow River Preservation Association
Monday, April 27, 2015

Pilot Program at Middlebridge Tests Methods for Enhancing Marsh Resiliency 

On March 23, the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service began a marsh restoration pilot study on the marsh just south of Middlebridge. The pilot is comparing two methods of “thin-layer deposition” in which a layer of sand is used to raise the elevation of the marsh surface and thus enable the marsh to keep up with sea level rise.

The pilot will compare the results of two 50 by 100 foot plots where roughly four inches (100 cubic yards) of sand were added.

With the hydraulic method used for the first plot, water, air and sand were combined in a tank and pumped onto the marsh. 

In the second plot, the layer of sand was spread using a Bobcat loader. 

USFWS scientists will be measuring sediment levels, vegetation response and peat compression (soil bulk density) throughout the year to help inform suggested methods for larger scale thin-layer deposition of material dredged from Narrow River later this year.

The work is part of a multi-prong USFWS effort to restore estuarine conditions in the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge in the Narrow River to enhance resiliency against sea level rise, climate change and future storm events.

See more pictures of the pilot study at Middlebridge.

On Pettaquamscutt Series Wraps up with Talk on Marsh Adaptation

For the third and final presentation of the 2015 On Pettaquamscutt winter speaker series, Wenley Ferguson of Save the Bay and Nick Ernst of USFWS explained the various strategies for marsh adaptation being used in Narrow River and throughout the Narragansett Bay Estuary.

Click the title slide below to see Wenley's presentation.


Some of the tools in the Narrow River strategy include:

  • Dredging in selected locations to improve channel flow and promote eel grass growth
  • Marsh edge protection using coir logs and bagged oyster shells (a method also being evaluated near Middlebridge)
  • Digging runnels and repairing existing ones to improve surface drainage.
Visit the Resource Management page of USFWS's John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge website for more information on the agency's plans to use thin-layer spraying of dredge sediment and other techniques to enhance the resiliency of salt marshes in e lower Narrow River.

Narrow River Notes is the newsletter of the Narrow River Preservation Association. Published three times a year, the newsletter keeps the NRPA membership up to date on what is happening within the watershed.

Current Issue: Winter 2015

Fish and Wildlife Seeks Public Comment
on Restoration Plans

As described in the two most recent issues of Narrow River Notes, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service plans to use thin-layer spraying of dredge sediment and other techniques to enhance the resiliency of salt marshes in the John H. Chafee Wildlife Refuge in the lower Narrow River. The agency is inviting public comment on a Draft Environmental Assessment which describes the proposed actions. The Draft Environmental Assessment and other documents are available at the Kettle Pond Visitor Center in Charlestown and on the Wildlife Refuge website. The public comment period ends November 30, 2014.

44th Annual Meeting

Jason Considine is 2014 Friend of the River

Richard Grant, President of the Narrow River Preservation Association (near right), presents Jason Considine of South Kingstown with the 2014 W.E.R. La Farge Memorial Friend of the River Award at the 44th NRPA Annual Meeting on October 2. The award recognizes Jason’s “leadership in founding and hosting the annual Pettaquamscutt Paddle each year since 2008, and for his generous support of NRPA’s annual kayak fundraising program.” Jason is the owner and operator of Narrow River Kayaks in Middlebridge, and is a member of the NRPA Board of Directors. 

Year in Pictures



More about the Friend of the River Award

2014 Kayak Raffle

Sandra and Mark Crevier had the winning ticket in the 2014 NRPA Kayak Raffle drawn at the Annual Meeting on October 2.

And while they seemed pleased with their new Old Town Heron 9XT, their dog Scarlet is reserving judgement.

Many thanks to Jason Considine, who contributed the kayak and paddle for the raffle.




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NRPA is a member of the R.I. Rivers Council and has served as the Designated Watershed Council for Narrow River since 2002.



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