Narrow River Preservation Association
Monday, May 22, 2017
NRPA: Working since 1970 to preserve, protect, and restore Narrow River and its watershed.
May 2017 Saltmarsh Restoration Planting
in the Lower Narrow River
Thank you for your interest in volunteering to plant saltmarsh grasses in the lower Narrow River.
We have many planting times and dates - some posted below and others yet to be determined.  
The planting schedule will be updated frequently as sessions fill with volunteers and additional planting sessions will be added if needed.
Updates will be posted here!
For 'Middlebridge' planting location, park at Middlebridge Marina, 95 Middlebridge Road, Narragansett (across from Narrow River Kayaks). Volunteers at this location will walk to planting area.
For 'Sprague Kayak Ramp' planting location, meet in the lot at the Northwest corner of Sprague Bridge. Limited parking is available near the ramp at the pump station, additional parking is available across Boston Neck Road Northeast and Southeast of Sprague Bridge. (GPS will recognize 299 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett.)  Some volunteers at this location will take a USFWS boat to planting locations. USFWS will provide PFDs (life jackets) for volunteers.
Click the session to go to the signup page for that session
Sign up for more than one session by completing the signup page for each session.  
Each planting session will be 2-3 hours long.
Monday, May 22, noon at Sprague Kayak Ramp (this planting session is full)


The legal stuff:
Each volunteer must complete a waiver prior to volunteering.  
You can complete your waiver ONLINE or ON PAPER.  
To sign ONLINE (best for individual adults), simply register online for one of the planting sessions above.
To sign ON PAPER (best for groups and minors), please print the forms below, sign (or have parent/guardian sign) and bring to your planting session.
ADULTS must sign this waiver: Adult waiver (click here).
MINORS (under age 18), must have a parent or guardian sign TWO (2) forms: 
We apologize for the inconvenience, but each volunteer must sign a waiver for each planting session.  
What do we wear/bring?
It's going to be very messy!!  We advise wearing rubber boots and dressing for the weather.  
No need to bring anything else. The US Fish and Wildlife Service will provide all of the tools we need and also some snacks!
So what's the plan? Here it is!
Here's the article from our April 2017 issue of Narrow River Notes on the plan.

Narrow River Preservation Association is working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the next phase of the Narrow River salt marsh restoration project. 
While the marsh has historically been underwater only at “spring” (new and full moon) tides, in recent years, due to sea level rise, the majority of the marsh is being flooded too frequently for the marsh grasses to thrive.
This winter, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy and the Coastal Resource Management Council, US Fish and Wildlife completed the dredging phase of the restoration project. 
During this phase, using a method called thin layer deposition, crews dredged specific areas of the lower Narrow River and then dispersed the dredged material onto the surface of the marsh to raise the elevation. In areas where the elevation has been raised 3 inches or more, volunteers will soon plant marsh grass seedlings (plugs). 
Marsh areas at the increased elevation will flood less frequently, which will hopefully increase the lifespan and resilience of the marsh to future sea level rise and other stressors. 
Last fall, US Fish and Wildlife collected local seeds from three different types of salt marsh grasses along Narrow River. Since then, a nursery has been growing the seedlings (plugs). 
Around the first of May, 35,000 plugs will be ready to plant.
The salt marsh grasses to be planted are cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), saltmarsh hay (Spartina patens), and saltgrass (Disticis spicata).
The planting will occur over two or three days, with a morning and an afternoon shift each day. Volunteers will be able to choose which shifts they would like to work.
Volunteers are advised to dress for the weather. The work will be messy and rubber boots are encouraged. Helpers of all ages are welcome and NRPA is working with school groups who plan to volunteer. USF&WS will provide all of the needed tools and supplies as well as water and snacks. 
The volunteer response at press time has been outstanding. Nearly 200 individuals and several groups have signed up to volunteer. 
Many hands will make quick work of the 35,000 plugs.
Have more questions?  Email us at


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NRPA is a member of the R.I. Rivers Council and has served as the Designated Watershed Council for Narrow River since 2002.


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