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John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge. Narrow River Coastal Resiliency Project. Agenda. Team Objectives Process and timelines Resiliency funding, planning, and execution Interagency cooperation in planning Management Framework and working parameters CRMC, ACOE, FWS

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john h chafee national wildlife refuge

John H. ChafeeNational Wildlife Refuge

Narrow River

Coastal Resiliency Project

  • Team Objectives Process and timelines
    • Resiliency funding, planning, and execution
    • Interagency cooperation in planning
    • Management Framework and working parameters
      • CRMC, ACOE, FWS
  • Background/baseline information/available information
  • Team organization, next steps
hurricane sandy resiliency funding
Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Funding
  • $100 million awarded to federal agencies
    • To promote natural resource enhancement / resiliency against storms
    • Projects selected on a competitive basis
  • Fish and Wildlife Service in Rhode Island received $6 million
    • Coastal Program (SNEP) $2 million
      • Aquatic habitat connectivity
    • Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex $4 million
      • Saltmarsh habitat enhancement and resiliency
        • Sachuest Point NWR
        • John H. Chafee NWR
program funding
Program Funding
  • Funds to be obligated within three years of receipt (2017)
  • High level of scrutiny and bean counting
  • Anticipate obligating most funds under cooperative agreement with The Nature Conservancy
  • No matching fund requirements
project area boundary and teams
Project Area Boundary and Teams
  • Goal is to promote and enhance national wildlife refuge natural resources
  • The health and productivity of Refuge

habitats is dependent on:

    • Water quality and watershed conditions

in the Narrow River

    • Dependent on the health and productivity of

saltmarsh habitats adjacent to the Refuge

and in the estuary as a whole.

project area boundary
Project Area Boundary
  • Project will focus on saltmarsh conditions throughout the estuary, and
  • Watershed conditions in the Lower Narrow River (primarily Pettaquamscutt Cove).
    • Watershed/Water Quality Team
      • RIDEM, NRPA, Towns of Narragansett and South Kingstown
team objectives
Team Objectives
  • Identify recommended actions to enhance saltmarsh/estuarine conditions on an ecological basis
    • Regardless of Ownership
    • Identify those actions specific to each saltmarsh

management unit or area.

  • Use by FWS / ACOE / Others for subsequent planning

and execution

  • Final actions may be modified based on public

involvement, public use needs, agency requirements,

Environmental Assessments, cultural resource protection,


estuarine and marine habitats
Estuarine and MarineHabitats

Ongoing planning efforts:

Potential for using dredging and

beneficial use of dredge materials

agency planning direction fws
Agency Planning Direction - FWS

FWS Complete an Environmental Assessment (use ACOE Docs?)

  • Refuge Purposes

Waterfowl, migratory birds, endangered species, wildlife dependent recreation

  • Cultural resource protection
  • Endangered Species Act Compliance

Piping plover

  • Biodiversity Regulations (intelligent tinkering)

Saltmarsh sparrow conservation

State listed endemic plants / species of concern

  • Impacts on resources and landowners – changes in tidal levels
  • Federal permits (ACOE / CRMC, etc. )
agency planning direction
Agency Planning Direction
  • U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers
  • RI Coastal Resource Management Council
available information
Available Information
  • Mapcoast / Soils
  • Marine fisheries
  • ACOE feasibility Study
  • Habitat Component mapping and surface profiles
habitat components
Habitat Components
  • Saltmarsh (Spartina dominated communities)
  • Pools and Pans
  • Tidal (brackish) marsh
  • Estuarine shrub wetland
habitat components1
Habitat Components

Marsh migration areas

Areas within the LIDAR 2 foot and 4 foot elevation


At this point, surrogate for SLAMM

Kevin Ruddock (TNC) running SLAMM analysis

For drainage – available soon

well drained saltmarsh
Well drained saltmarsh

Based on aerial imagery

Areas within 50 feet of functional drainage

or shoreline

Estimate change if ditches were maintained

saltmarsh surface profiles
Saltmarsh Surface Profiles
  • Refuge reach and Pet Cove
  • Tied to elevation marker

(1.54 ft NGVD)

  • Rough approximation of


vegetation by elevation
Vegetation by Elevation

Better information available

saltmarsh shoreline stability based on 2012 fws survey pre construction monitoring
Saltmarsh ShorelineStabilityBased on 2012 FWS SurveyPre-construction monitoring