Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Rhode Island

The Partners Program in Rhode Island is administered from the New England Field Office in Concord, New Hampshire. Projects are focused in areas where conservation efforts will provide the greatest benefit for federal trust species, which include: migratory birds, anadromous fish, and Federally-listed threatened and endangered species. Habitats that were once in a degraded state are now providing important cover, food, water, and breeding areas for many species.

Conservation Strategies

Freshwater Wetland Restoration
The Partners Program has focused on restoring freshwater wetlands by controlling non-native invasive vegetation. Wetlands along the Wood-Pawcatuck River and wetlands adjacent to other freshwater ponds have been invaded by Purple Loosestrife which can replace native wetland vegetation. The Partners Program is working with the University of RI and interested landowners on a biocontrol program to reduce the occurrence of loosestrife in selected wetlands by releasing beetles that feed specifically on Purple Loosestrife, thereby allowing native wetland plants to become reestablished.

Salt Marsh Restoration
Restoring salt marsh ecosystems involves many strategies such as removing fill (restoring historic tidal channels), replacing undersized culverts or adding additional culverts to improve tidal flushing. Some projects focus on the removal of invasives such as Common Reed (Phragmites), allowing native vegetation to be restored. The

Partners Program is working with private landowners adjacent to Cards Ponds in South Kingstown, RI and Ducks Unlimited to restore the Cards Ponds ecosystem by using all of these techniques. The Partners Program has had major involvement with salt marsh restoration in RI such as removing dredge material from a filled salt marsh at Common Fence Point Improvement Association (Portsmouth) and improving tidal circulation at the Galilee Bird Sanctuary (a Coastal American Project award).

Grassland Restoration
Since 1995, The Nature Conservancy has worked with the Partners Program to restore native grasslands on Block Island. Block Island is home to the only viable population in the northeastern U.S. of the American Burying Beetle, a federally endangered species. Restoration efforts improve habitat for the beetle as well as for numerous grassland-dependent bird species including the grasshopper sparrow, barn owl, and northern harrier. It is also helping rare plants such as Northern Blazing Star, a state threatened species.

Partners’ funds have also been used by Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Westerly Land Trust and South Kingstown Land Trust to restore native grasslands. Planting native warm season grasses such as little bluestem and switchgrass along with native wildflowers provides valuable habitat for grassland nesting birds and enhance habitat for native pollinating insects.

Fish Passage
The Wood-Pawcatuck River is the premier freshwater fishery and recreational resource in the State. Access to important habitat for diadromous fish including the alewife, blueback herring, American shad, and American eel, as well as native resident fish such as the eastern brook trout along the Wood- Pawcatuck River is blocked by dams and undersized culverts. The Partners Program is working with private dam owners, nongovernmental organizations, and state and federal agencies to restore fish passage by removing unwanted dams or installing fish passage structures in the watershed including the 2010 removal of the Lower Shannock Falls Dam. Additionally, the Partners Program is supporting the restoration of fish passage on the Woonasquatucket River in Providence through the removal of the Paragon Dam.

Download the program factsheet

 


Contact Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Rhode Island


Contact Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Rhode Island

Eric Derleth
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
70 Commercial St
Suite 300
Concord, New Hampshire  03301
Phone: 603-227-6417


 

Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Rhode Island