Monday, September 30, 2013

Stillhouse Cove in Cranston gets an Adaptive Makeover

In case you missed it, last week was National Estuaries Week. We kicked off the week with our annual Beach Slam at Goddard Memorial State Park, and continued with the christening of our new education vessel the Elizabeth Morris. The habitat restoration staff was also in full swing with a project at Stillhouse Cove in Cranston. This small park north of Pawtuxet Village is the site of one of our recent salt marsh restoration projects were we cleared tidal creeks to allow fresh water to drain from the upper marsh.

This most recent project helps to address erosion issues at the upland edge of the marsh where it meets the bluff. Wave action and storm damage had caused the bluff to become eroded and undercut, threatening the loss of portions of the park. The steep bluff was graded to a more dissipated slope, and soil lifts or "burritos" as they are sometimes called, were installed to support the bank and new vegetation.

This project was part of our work to identify opportunities to protect shorelines naturally and help create a more resilient coastline. As sea level rises, it will be important to create places where wave energy can be dissipated and where shorelines can adapt to changes. The newly graded area will be planted and will support habitat values while protecting the shoreline.