Building a Stronger Coast
In the News: Two Projects Underway in R.I. to Raise Salt Marshes Threatened by Environmental Change

Dredging equipment at the Narrow River, John H. Chafee NWR, Rhode Island. Credit: Steve Droter

January 15, 2017 – An article in the Providence Journal highlights efforts to improve salt marsh resiliency against future sea-level rise in Rhode Island, where waters are rising at more than three times the rate that marshes are growing.

A partnership among FWS, The Nature Conservancy and the state Coastal Resources Management Council is working to raise the elevation of threatened marshes along the Narrow River at John H. Chafee NWR and Ninigret Pond at Ninigret NWR. Both projects are supported by DOI Hurricane Sandy disaster relief funds.

The innovative marsh elevation technique will increase the ability of these marshes to provide a natural coastal defense against future storm surges, while also protecting critical habitat for wildlife and places for people to recreate.

Read the article
Learn more about the projects


Dredging equipment at the Narrow River, John H. Chafee NWR, Rhode Island. Credit: Steve Droter
Credit: Steve Droter


Stream Restoration Will Help Reduce Flood Risk and Improve Fish Passage

Dewey’s Creek stream restoration. Credit: USFWS

January 13, 2017 – A Hurricane Sandy-funded resiliency project on Dewey’s Creek in Virginia has just wrapped up after months of work interrupted by frequent heavy rains and storms.

Dewey’s Creek is a tributary of Quantico Creek, which is a tidal tributary of the Potomac River. Stream restoration will improve the resiliency of the Possum Point Road culvert over Dewey’s Creek, which had a history of over-topping.

The project involved restoration of 400 feet of creek above the culvert in order to improve sediment transport and water flow. Both wildlife and people stand to gain from the project through improved passage for American eel and reduced flood risk to the nearby community, which includes a power plant that services the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Read the press release
Learn more about the project


Dewey’s Creek stream restoration.
Credit: USFWS


Blog: Rediscovering Muddy Creek

Students collecting water quality samples at Muddy Creek during summer 2016. Credit: Christine deSilva/christinedesilvia.com

January 12, 2017 – Dreaming about some fun in the sun? Look no further than Cape Cod, where kayakers will have a brand new destination this summer thanks to a restoration project that has re-opened a previously isolated tidal wetland, benefiting both people and the environment.

Last May, the USFWS and its partners removed twin culverts on Muddy Creek and replaced them with a bridge, allowing sea water to flow into the creek once more. This will restore the estuarine and subtidal wetlands, improving water quality and enhancing the system’s natural defenses against Hurricane Sandy-like storm surge in the future.

Paddlers have already been making good use of the newly opened tidal marshes along the shores of Muddy Creek – including an environmental educational group that teaches youth how to collect and analyze water quality data.

Read more about the students rediscovering Muddy Creek



Students collecting water quality samples at Muddy Creek during summer 2016.
Credit: Christine deSilva/christinedesilvia.com


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Last updated: December 12, 2016