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Marsh Restoration in Final Stages: 8.11.11

Project Update

Project Description

Silver Creek is an approximately thirteen acre salt marsh in the eastern section of Narragansett Bay. The creek sits at the northern end of the historic town of Bristol. The creek is tidally restricted by a former railroad bridge, a road bridge and a foot bridge which have impacted the salt marsh plant community. 
These restrictions have impounded freshwater, diminished connectivity with Narragansett Bay, and have allowed for the expansion of Phragmites australis in the salt marsh. Further impacts to the marsh include historic filling of both sides of the creek and little to no buffer zone along portions of the marsh

The goals of this project will be addressed by removing the tidal restrictions, removing the invasive species; and, possibly removing the historical fill. By restoring the tidal flushing, the salinity levels will increase and the Phragmites population will be inhibited – this reduction in the Phragmites will reduce competition for tidal marsh restoration. The ultimate goals are to reduce the Phragmites population and restore bio-diversity within the Silver Creek and associated marsh. A secondary benefit to the project will be reducing the risk of flooding on properties within the Silver Creek watershed. Read Rob Merwin's May 28 article in the Bristol Phoenix.

Silver Creek is an important resource to the surrounding community for recreational, educational, historic, flood protection and aesthetic purposes.   The marsh is a major feature of the landscape and is surrounded by residential properties, a school and playground, a nursing home, and commercial properties along Hope Street. The wetlands play a critical role in improving surface water quality by filtering pollutants and sediments and for flood storage. Project funding is provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationRestore America's Estuaries and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Project Goals

The ultimate goals of this project are to

  • Reduce the extent of Phragmites australis, 
  • Restore bio-diversity within Silver Creek and the associated marsh, and to 
  • Reduce the risk of flooding on properties within the Silver Creek watershed.

Where is Silver Creek? Link here to our Bay Map to find out (scroll down on the left hand side of the page to find Silver Creek).

Find out more about this project.
See more photos of Silver Creek.

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Restoring homes 
of lobster, crabs, scallops and fish.

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