NPS Reconnaissance Survey

A reconnaissance survey of the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed was conducted by the Northeast Region of the National Park Service in 2013 at the request of RI State Representative Jim Langevin as an initial step prior to authorization of a full study. The reconnaissance survey provides a preliminary assessment of the eligibility and suitability of the rivers of the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed as candidates for a Partnership Wild and Scenic River designation according to criteria established under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The survey looked at the rivers’ natural, cultural, historic, scenic and recreational resources, water quality, and free-flowing condition, along with existing local protections and community support for long-term river protection.

Wild and Scenic River Reconnaissance Survey of the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed, prepared by the National Park Service Northeast Region 2013

Survey Findings

The NPS reconnaissance survey team has determined, based on readily available information, that segments of the Wood-Pawcatuck River exhibit free-flowing character and noteworthy natural, cultural and recreational resource values likely to meet eligibility criteria for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. In addition, the presence of very strong community and interest group support for a Wild and Scenic River Study, together with a demonstrated track record of natural and cultural resource protection, support key elements of suitability for inclusion in the System, and provide a strong indication that a Wild and Scenic River Study would be appropriate and productive.

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