U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

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After centuries of declining wildlife, follow the story of the Pawcatuck River’s restoration.

Salt marshes provide habitat for fish, birds, and invertebrates and purify water by taking up nutrients that can be harmful in excess. They help protect neighboring coastal communities by buffering against wind and waves and absorbing, then slowly releasing, floodwaters. Salt marshes are threatened by sea-level rise and their tendency to gradually sink. The Fish and Wildlife Service is using a process called thin-layer deposition to restore these valuable habitats.

Rhode Island’s rivers, which have been used and abused in the past, are gaining new life as dams are removed and disposal practices change. This is good news for wildlife and people alike.