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Parker-Ipswich-Essex Rivers Restoration Partnership



2015 – 2017

Project Team

Project Contact: Brian Kelder (IRWA)

This project is a component of the Great Marsh Coastal Resiliency Project.

About the Project

We will inventory, assess, and prioritize at least 1,250 man-made structures (road/marsh crossings, dams, and tidal restrictions) that may impede flow and fluvial processes. We will apply tested ecological and infrastructure risk models to assess local flood risk and impacts to wildlife such as anadromous fish (e.g., river herring). This evaluation will include detailed, region-wide spatial analysis of high-risk structures and areas; provide municipalities with risk prioritization for all structures; and offer ecologically based design recommendations for 100 of the highest risk structures. The prioritization and designs will focus on structures that can and should be altered to restore natural hydrologic and hydraulic processes to reduce community risk and improve habitat conditions. This comprehensive, science-based approach will provide municipalities with a valuable tool to allow them to better prepare for future coastal storms while improving conditions for important fish and wildlife.

This project builds on the results of the PIE-Rivers Road-Stream Crossing Survey.

Our assessment will:

(1)Engage municipalities, state, and other entities to identify/acquire all relevant existing data sets and analyses on aquatic infrastructure and incorporate local needs/concerns;

(2)conduct fieldwork and region-wide analyses of non-tidal road-stream crossings using screening models for failure risk and aquatic organism passage and;

(3) synthesize results from crossing screening models with existing information on tidal restrictions, dams, and other coastal structures to develop a comprehensive prioritization approach that incorporates both infrastructure and ecological considerations for all barrier types.

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