Caitlin Chaffee, of the Department of Environmental Management, hosted the apprentices out on Narrow River in Narragansett, home to a community boat launch, kayaking hub, private residential properties, wildlife habitat and wetlands preserve. This interesting intersection of land has attracted the attention of environmentally conscious individuals and organizations as well as the support of the town to invest in the restoration and reimagining of this important site alongside the Pettaquamscutt River. The apprentices were able to actively engage Ms. Chaffee in conversations that highlighted mutual concern for coastal features, for example discussing ways to utilize natural and native saltwater vegetation to act as a buffer zone from wave energy and protect from erosion, while balancing the need to allow for public access. Ms. Chaffee was keen to impart her team’s strategies for reinvigorating the marshlands by depositing sediment with the help of machinery to reverse the severe reduction we are seeing in our marshes throughout Rhode Island, and expressed that without such efforts, we would see a radical loss of such wetlands within the next 50 years.
Written by Mason Billings
Photographs by Mason Billings