At a Glance
Restoring hydrology and ecology to a degraded site along the Connecticut River.
Through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Wetlands Reserve Easement Grant (WREG) program, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the NRCS are partnering to protect and restore a 330-acre property along the Connecticut River known as Crow Point. Owned by Goodwin College, the site consists of agricultural land, fragmented forest, wetlands, and a man-made cove. Crow Point’s hydrology and ecology have been significantly disturbed by human impacts and invasive species. The low-lying site is also prone to flooding during large storm events. The WREG being pursued by Goodwin College requires hydrologic restoration of the site, TNC is facilitating the easement transaction between Goodwin and NRCS. To establish the rationale and approach for restoring floodplains at the site, TNC turned to Biohabitats.
Biohabitats began by reviewing background information, including a preliminary restoration outline developed by a TNC floodplain ecologist, and meeting with project partners and stakeholders. Biohabitats then conducted a field investigation to ground truth background data and prepared a combined 1D/2D hydraulic model to characterize hydrologic conditions. Biohabitats will also use the model to assess the impact of the proposed restoration measures and develop concepts to restore floodplain hydrology and ecological function. Interventions being considered include removal or lowering of haul roads, grading of vernal pools, and creation of marsh fringe. To inform decision-making, Biohabitats is preparing preliminary cost estimates and project timelines for the alternative approaches. The selected concept will be developed into a full restoration plan. The plan will include narrative, design drawings, technical details, and analysis associated with restoring site hydrology, managing invasive species and planting native species. It will also provide maintenance recommendations.