Fact Sheet/Spring 2005

  The  American   Heritage
  Rivers Initiative was created
  to advance the goals identi-
  fied by river communities. The
  Initiative has three objectives:
  natural resource and environ-
  mental protection, economic
  revitalization, and historic and
  cultural preservation. No new
  regulatory ai
  as  a  result
the  Initiative.
  Likewise, no  direct  federal
  funding is available to the
  Initiative.   Existing  federal
  authorities and programs are
  used to assist the community
*• Woonasquatucket
  River Navigator
  Johanna Hunter,
^ Woonasquatucket River
  Watershed Council (WRWC)
  Jenny Pereira, Director
           United States
           Environmental Protection
           i Agency New England
   Customer Call Center
                   Woonasquatucket  River
                    What Makes the Woonasquatucket River
                     Hhe headwaters in Glocester and North
                      Smithfield offer opportunities for preservation of
                      the natural riparian and wetland buffers protect-
                      ing the water quality of the river.
                     Hhe river powered the industrial growth of Provi-
                      dence and RI and features many historic sites and
                     *• Restoration of the river has regional implications
                      as it merges with two other rivers to form the
                      headwaters of NarragansettBay, one of the larg-
                      estsaltwater estuaries in the nation.
                     *• Economic development pressures offer opportu-
                      nity to link environmental preservation with
                      smart growth and development.

                     What are the Long Term Goals?
                     *• Return water quality of the river to fishable and
                     ^•Create a contiguous greenway and wildlife
                      habitat along the length of the river.
                     ^•Identify and protect environmentally critical
                      land parcels.
                     *• Preserve and/or restore historically significant
                      buildings and sites.
                     ^Improve public access and awareness to the
                      river and enhance opportunities for
                      recreational activities.
                     ^•Support economic development opportunities
                      and identify and promote positive growth
                      patterns in the watershed.
   Progress/Goals for the Future
What Partnership Progress Has Been Made?
 > Identification of riparian and wetland habitat res-
  toration opportunities along the river (grants
  from US Forest Service, EPA, URI, RI DEM) includ-
  ing funding for 3 projects in 2005.
 > WRWC partnership with the Natural Resources
  Conservation Service of RI (USDA) to work di-
  rectly with public and private land owners on
  river issues.
 K)ver 50 acresof abandoned waterfrontwas re-
  stored and construction started on a 5.5 mile
  bikeway linking neighborhoods and parks in the
  Riverside Mills area of Providence.
 Hn Providence, RI DEM and WRWC recently com-
  pleted an EPA Smart Growth grant to develop
  measures to integrate Brownfields initiatives,
  neighborhood priorities and river protection
  measures into the Providence Comprehensive
  Plan and Zoning Ordinance.
 *• Designated the Woonasquatucket as an EPA/Army
  Corps Urban River Restoration Initiative,
  partnering these agencies with communities on
  river restoration including the potential for future
  fish passage along the lower dams of the river.
What EPA Actions are Planned for  2005-6?
 ^•Two Brownfields sites (Riverside Mills and Melissa
  St. Landfill) will be restored for public use. River-
  side Mills Park will be completed in 2006.
 ^•Commit to key environmental actions outlined in
  the WRWC Watershed Action Plan.

   Woonasquatucket  River
      Surfre* Walei
      ToMn Boundary
   	State Botindaiy
   	Watershed Boundary

   DB>SOIIW PoliRal boundaries from MascGIS, CaraiDEP, ml WGIS
          A 1:24.000 Surface waterfram NHD at 1 100.000
          Watershed boundaries from RSGIS at 1 24.000
          Jm 20. 2002
                                                  AMERICAN HERITAGE RIVERS

  What EPA Actions are Planned for 2005-2006?  (continued)
 *• Undertake wetland and riparian restoration projects and work with RI
   DEM to pilot projects based on wetland restoration inventory and
   riparian work.
 *• Reduce bacteria, nutrient and metals loading by finalizing the levels
   allowable for the river (TMDLs).
 ^-Work with WRWC and other stakeholders on the development of recom-
   mendations for cleanup at the Gentredale Manor Superfund site.
 *• Partnering with other agencies for additional projects such as fish passage
   and river redevelopment along the Woonasquatucket.
 > Support environmental education initiatives.

Who are the  Partners?
Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council • TownofGlocester • TownofNorth
Smithfield • TownofSmithfield • Town of Johnston • TownofNorthProvidence
• GityofProvidence • EPANewEngland • US Fish and Wildlife • USArmyCorps
ofEngineers • FederalHighway Administration • Housing and Urban Develop-
ment • Economic Development Agency, Dept of Commerce • US Geological
Survey • FederalEmergencyManagementAgency • NationalMarine Fisheries
Service • National Park Service • USDA-NaturalResources Conservation Service •
USDAForestService • USDA-RuralDevelopmentforRI • USDANatural
Resources Conservation Service • USDAFarmServiceAgency • RI Department of
Environmental Management • RI Department of Transportation • Rhode Island
Audubon Society • Coastal Resouces Management Council
 What is the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council?
  In 1994, work began on the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Project, a pro-
   gram focused on the restoration of the river and abandoned public land in in-
   ner city neighborhoods in Providence. In 1997, staff of the Greenway Project
   began working with all of the communities in the watershed in a successful
   campaign to secure the federal designation of the Woonasquatucket as an
   American Heritage River. The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
   formed out of this grassroots effort in 1998, and incorporated as a 50 l(c)(3)
   in 2001, with the mission to encourage, support and promote the restoration
   and preservation of the Woonasquatucket River watershed as an environmen-
   tal, recreational, cultural, and economic assest of the State of Rhodes Island.
                  United States
                  Environmental Protection
                  Agency New England
Customer Call Center 888-372-7341 • www.epa.gov/region1
Note: EPA New England offers businesses and municipalities information and assistance to improve compliance with environmental laws and be better stewards of their
local environment. Please call to learn how EPA can help.
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