Welcome! In March 2019, after thousands of hours of community effort over a ten year period, Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut residents celebrated the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed receiving a National Wild and Scenic River designation. The watershed is now considered a Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers System under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Less than 1% of the 3.6 million miles of streams in the U.S can claim this designation!
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was enacted as a way to protect and preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values for the enjoyment of present and future generations. The Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed’s 300 square mile area includes seven major rivers as well as countless lakes, wetlands, and smaller streams. Although Rhode Island may be the smallest state and the second most densely populated state in the union, a total of 110 river miles within this watershed were found to be eligible for this prestigious recognition and protection!
A Stewardship Council was established in early 2019 with representatives from the twelve towns in the watershed, along with state agencies and other non-profit conservation organizations. The Council’s mission is to help preserve, protect and enhance the special environmental, cultural, and recreational values of the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed and its Wild and Scenic Rivers and tributaries in Rhode Island and Connecticut for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Our Goals are...
- Improve and conserve water quality and water quantity.
- Conserve open space, woodlands, wetlands & geologic features.
- Protect native plant and animal species.
- Preserve cultural, historical and archaeological sites.
- Enhance outdoor recreation opportunities.
- Encourage environmental education and watershed awareness.