Narrow River Preservation Association
Monday, August 21, 2017
NRPA: Working since 1970 to preserve, protect, and restore Narrow River and its watershed.

2015 Front Page

Here are some of the photos and articles that appeared on the Home page in 2015:

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: Fall-Winter 2015

Jon C. Boothroyd, Ph.D.
Scientist, Teacher, Friend of the River

We have lost a great friend. Jon Boothroyd, shown above answering questions about coastal storm hazards on a walking tour of Narragansett Beach in 2012, died at his home in South Kingstown on Thursday, October 15. Jon served for more than 20 years on the Narrow River Preservation Association Board of Directors and he always sported his tattered NRPA ball cap in case you had any doubt about his allegiance. He was NRPA's Vice President-Science, a trusted colleague, and what made him proud, the recipient of the 2000 W.E.R. La Farge Friend of the River Award.

2015 Annual Meeting:

Paul McCaffrey and Mick Westkott
Receive 2015 Friend of the River for
Narrow River Turnaround Swim

Narrow River Preservation Association’s Veronica Berounsky presents Mick Westkott (left) and Paul McCaffrey with the 2015 W.E.R. La Farge Memorial Friend of the River Award at the 45th NRPA Annual Meeting on October 1. The award recognizes their leadership in starting the Narrow River Turnaround Swim in 2006 and building the one-mile open water swim over the last ten years into a signature event both for NRPA and local swimmers. Westkott is in his 44th year as the Swimming and Diving Coach at URI. McCaffrey recently retired from Narragansett Schools where he taught Physical Education. Both men are members of the Rhode Island Aquatic Hall of Fame.

Gansett Days:

What Lives in the River - Gansett Days Edition

On Sunday, September 20, NRPA reprised its popular What Lives in the River event at Middlebridge as its contribution to the Gansett Days celebration over the weekend.

See more photos of the event on Flickr.

Read Scott Turner's account of the 2015 Pettaquamscutt Paddle:

Celebrating on sandbar as moon rises

Some outdoor moments leave you breathless.

Such was the case on July 31, as Karen and I, plus 70 other paddlers, kayaked at dusk into the mouth of the Narrow River in Narragansett... (read more)

Mapping the Soil and Sediment in Narrow River

One of the resources available in planning and evaluating marsh restoration projects in Narrow River is a survey of soils and sediment in the river completed in 2011 by the Mapping Partnership for Coastal Soils and Sediment (MapCoast), a collaborative effort headed up by the Rhode Island USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service... (read more, view videos) 


Sunset viewed from Sprague Bridge, Craig Wood, July 27, 2015

NRPA Lesa Meng College Scholarships

In June, NRPA awarded 2015 NRPA Lesa Meng College Scholarships to four graduates from area high schools. Congratulations to: Jacob Baretta, South Kingstown High; Erin Chille, North Kingstown High School; Jack Hall, Narragansett High School; and Dean Kareemo, North Kingstown High School. Read more about the winners and the scholarship.

Full Buck Moon Rising Over the Narrows
Sun Setting Behind Tower Hill
Great Blue Herons Landing on a Marsh
Ospreys Feeding Their Young

... and You Can Have a Front Row Seat

Please join us on Friday, July 31 for a spectacular sunset tour of Narrow River as Narrow River Kayaks presents the 8th Pettaquamscutt Paddle to benefit Narrow River Preservation Association. Arrive at Narrow River Kayaks at 5:00 p.m. for a brief orientation and presentation by NRPA Board members before setting out on this approximately 2.5-hour guided twilight tour of the lower Narrow River.

Pre-registration is required, and the tour is limited to 40 participants. For more information or to sign up now, email Jason Considine (or call 401-789-0334).

Visit our calendar page for more information about the Paddle.

Some of the 48 participants in the Pettaquamscutt Paddle on Saturday, July 21, 2012, greet the setting sun from a sand bar in the Narrows before returning to Middlebridge.

For more photos, go to: 

Tenth Narrow River Turnaround Swim


138 swimmers took to the water on Saturday, June 27 in the Tenth Annual Narrow River Turnaround Swim.

Keenan Novis of Jamestown finished the one-mile loop swim first with a time of 20:43.

Stuart Cromarty of Manville was the first in the Westsuit Division and second overall with a time of 21:09.

Jessica Ackerman of Warwick placed first among women and sixth overall with a time of 22:11.

Jillian Schneider of Narragansett was first among women in the Wetsuit Division and 15th overall with a time of 24:31.

See complete results.                More pictures on Flickr.

You're never too young (or too old) to see What Lives in the River?

If you missed "What Lives in the River?" on June 13, we are going to do it all over again from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 20 as part of the Gansett Days celebration.

This Swim Will
be a 10!

Sign up now for the Tenth Narrow River Turnaround Swim on Saturday, June 27

The swim is limited to 150 entrants. 132 are registered as of June 23

Online registration closes at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 25.

Narragansett 6th Graders Explore the River

The buses rolled into the Middlebridge Marina parking lot at 9:30 on Tuesday morning, June 9, with 100 6th Grade students from Narragansett Pier Middle School ready to explore Narrow River through science and art activities developed by NRPA Board members Richard Grant, Charlie Biddle and Veronica Berounsky and by Janet Stone, 6th Grade science teacher at the school. The students used seine nets to collect river creatures, sketched the riverscape, made fish prints on t-shirts, measured the amount of salinity and other parameters in the water, and pressed seaweed prints. But more importantly, they got wet, they became curious and enjoyed the hands-on learning. The event was sponsored by NRPA with a grant from the R.I. Rivers Council. See more pictures of the event.

A New Sign for an Old Friend


NRPA has repaired and updated the interpretive sign at the URI Boat Dock in the Lower Pond that tells the story of how W.E.R. La Farge donated parcels from his River Farm to help protect the river he loved so much.

Click the photo for a close-up view of the new La Farge Point Park sign.

W.E.R. was a founding member of Narrow River Preservation Association and each year NRPA awards the Friend of the River Award in his name.

AJ Fournier and Brian McNeiece Win
5K and 10K Runs in
28th Narrow River Road Race

AJ Fournier of North Kingstown (near right) and Brian McNeiece of Narragansett won the 5K Run and 10K Run, respectively, in the 28th Narrow River Road Race on Saturday May 9.

Fournier, who is the Assistant Coach of the URI Men's Rowing Team, finished the run from Treaty Rock Park on Middlebridge Road in South Kingstown to the Narragansett Town Beach in 19 minutes and 22 seconds.

McNeiece, who runs with the Narragansett Pacers, finished the 10K in 36:47.

In the Women's Division, Leslie Battle of Warwick, R.I., won the 5K Run with a time of 23:02 and Kate Cushing of Brooklyn, N.Y. won the 10K Run in 42:04.

Richard Rochette of Wakefield, R.I., reclaimed his Fast Man Walking title by walking the 5K course in 33 minutes and 25 seconds.

Follow these links for complete results in all three events:

2015 Narrow River Road Race 5K Run

5K Men's Division with Results by Age Group

5K Women's Division with Results by Age Group

2015 Narrow River Road Race 5K Walk

2015 Narrow River Road Race 10K Run

10K Men's Division with Results by Age Group

10K Women's Division with Results by Age Group

Road Race Photos

The 2015 Narrow River Road Race T-shirt features four sanderlings scurrying across the sand near the mouth of Narrow River, an image captured by NRPA Board member John McNamara. John, who has also provided pictures of eagles and osprey for previous editions of the T-shirt, was busy on race day capturing images of runners and walkers (some scurrying, some not), volunteers and spectators.

View John's photos on the NRPA Facebook page.

See more Road Race Photos on Flickr 

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.

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.


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.


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

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.



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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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