Maidford River Watershed

The Maidford River Watershed Pilot Project

SNEP Network partners are assisting the Town of Middletown and Aquidneck Land Trust with planning and design for nature-based solutions to reduce flooding and improve water quality of the Maidford River and downstream receiving waters which include two sources of Aquidneck Island’s water supply, Nelson and Gardiners Ponds. This project implements recommendations of local watershed plans to increase the river’s flood storage capacity by creating meanders and floodplain storage, and replacing a culvert that restricts flow and contributes to flooding.  Project partners are also working with property owners to restore the river’s riparian buffer by allowing the land adjacent to the river to return to a more natural condition.  These efforts complement ongoing work to improve the river’s water quality including construction of controls to treat runoff from roads and improved agricultural practices.     

Maidford River, 2021

To date, the SNEP Network has worked with project partners to:

  • assemble a project team comprised of Middletown officials and representatives from Aquidneck Land Trust, Eastern RI Conservation District, Save the Bay, Elizabeth Scott Consulting with consultant support from Fuss & O’Neill and Interfluve
  • develop a conceptual design for restoring the river and its floodplain
  • secure agreements from affected property owners to advance the conceptual design to the 30% design stage
  • undertake hydrologic & hydraulic modeling to analyze flood mitigation benefits and to inform development of the 30% design
  • initiate regulatory review of the river restoration project including flagging of wetlands and the submittal of Freshwater Wetlands Edge Verification applications for all affected properties, and meeting with the RI Department of Environmental Management to obtain preliminary input
  • support the Town of Middletown’s application for a SNEP Watershed Grant which was awarded in Sept 2021 to advance the river restoration project to 60% design & to prepare necessary permit applications
  • provide assistance to 5 property owners to assess opportunities for creating a naturally vegetated buffer on the land adjacent to the river to protect its water quality and habitat
  • develop a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for baseline monitoring of the Maidford River

Check out the resources below for more information about the project and helpful guides for buffer property owners. 

Floodplain Restoration


Buffer Restoration

  • Read more about the Maidford Riparian Buffer Restoration Project HERE.
  • View our Maidford River Buffer Restoration Guide HERE.  

Video Tutorials 

These videos from project partner Save The Bay provide useful tips for buffer property owners.