Salt marsh restoration efforts can vary from extensive projects such as removing fill material from the surface of a marsh and resizing culverts through tidal restrictions to simpler projects such as homeowners planting buffers of native shrubs along a marsh edge. Historic mosquito ditches can be restored through an innovative mosquito control program called “Open Marsh Water Management.”  This technique involves re-creating the natural water flow conditions in the marsh – thus allowing mosquito-eating minnows to survive in tidal pools and creeks.

The first community-sponsored marsh restoration in Rhode Island was conducted at Common Fence Point in Portsmouth in 1997. The project involved removing dredge spoils and re-grading a five-acre area of Phragmites to allow salt marsh grasses to re-colonize the area. Since the completion of the project in the fall of 1997, plants and animals are beginning to return to the area. Monies from the World Prodigy oil spill settlement were used to restore the tidal flushing of the Sachuest salt marsh at Third Beach in Middletown, RI.Culverts were resized to allow more salt water flow into the upper sections of the marsh. The state in conjunction with federal partners began restoring the marshes at the Galilee Bird Sanctuary in Narragansett by scraping off old dredge spoils from the historic marsh, opening culverts, and recreating tidal creeks. Many other restoration projects are completed or underway throughout Narragansett Bay coastal communities.