• Date: November 29, 2012

    Description: This workshop will provide highly practical and current formation on the science and regulation of wetland buffers for municipal officials who make land use decisions involving wetland buffers and Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS).

    State agency program supervisors from RI DEM Freshwater Wetlands, RI DEM OWTS Program, and the Coastal Resources Management Council will discuss current State setback and buffer requirements in review and approval of development plans.

    URI researchers in the Natural Resources Science Department will summarize the latest findings on the need for wetland buffers and setbacks, focusing on local research in Rhode Island.

    There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion with all presenters.

    • Scientific findings on buffer functions for water quality protection,
    • Overview of research supporting wildlife buffers,
    • State setbacks and buffers to coastal features and fresh water wetlands, including recent updates and state/local coordination.
    • Latest research on water table rise in soils,
    • Implications of climate change on water tables, coastal flooding, and OWTS.
    • Regulatory requirements: fill perimeters, setbacks to wells, roads, and more
    • Ample opportunity for discussion with State regulators and URI researchers

    • Jose Amador, URI Natural Resources Science
    • James Boyd, RI CRMC
    • Caitlin Chaffee, RI CRMC
    • Chuck Horbert, RI DEM Freshwater Wetlands
    • Brian Moore, RI DEM OWTS
    • Peter Paton, URI Natural Resources Science
    • Mark Stolt, URI Natural Resources Science

    Coastal Shoreline Features, James Boyd
    Relationships Between Soil Morphology and Water Table Levels, Mark Stolt
    Importance of Buffers for Wildlife Habitat, Peter Paton
    Climate Change Implications on OWTS, Jose Amador
    Water Quality Functions of Coastal Buffers, Caitlin Chaffee
    Fresh Water Wetland Buffer Zones, Chuck Horbert
    Regulatory Setbacks and Buffers , Brian Moore
    Workshop Flyer and Registration Form

    Speaker Bios

  • Date: November 29, 2012
    Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm
    Location: RI Department of Environmental Management, Conference Room 300, 235 Promenade Street, Providence RI 02908


    Description: RI DEM seasonal interns Michael Viola and Michaela Cashman, both recent URI graduates, spent July through September, 2012 working with the towns of Johnston, Smithfield and staff from RIDEM, RIDOT and EPA to create a GIS database of the Johnston stormdrain system within the Woonasqatucket River watershed.


    Their results:
    • Over 1,000 stormdrain components mapped.
    • Preliminary town GIS stormdrain system map created from paper plat maps and drain line sketches.
    • Stormdrain components accurately located or verified through field work.
    • Illicit discharges red flagged for future investigation.
    • Logical inventory of stormdrain system components created using a simple Excel spreadsheet.
    • Catchment analysis created identifying land areas and drainage structures contributing to two major stormwater discharges in the impaired Woonasquatucket River watershed area.
    • Town staff gained practical experience working with GPS, and were trained in using GIS to take over routine use of the newly created GIS database.

    Workshop Flyer

    2012 Municipal Mapping Assistance Program
    , Michaela Cashman and Michael Viola, RIDEM Office of Water Resources (PDF)


  • Date: June 28, 2012
    Time: 8:30am-12:30pm
    Location: Weaver Auditorium, Coastal Institute in Kingston, 1 Greenhouse Road, Kingston RI 02881

    Description: Please come to the 2012 RI Soil Survey Work Planning Conference to learn about the latest version of the Soil Survey of RI, provide input to future updates, learn about the site specific mapping, the latest research in soil science, and how to use and access soils data from a variety of sources. The conference is sponsored by URI Cooperative Extension NEMO, the RI USDA-NRCS, and the Society of Soil Scientists of Southern New England.

    Soil Survey Work Planning Conferences are required by National Cooperative Soil Survey policy. The conference provides an opportunity to update partners and users about the status of their state’s soil survey, serves as a forum to gather valuable feedback on users needs for data, interpretations, and training.

    Workshop Flyer
    Final Agenda

    Speaker Bios

    Participant List


    Introduction, Dr. Peter August, URI NRS (PDF)

    The Rhode Island Soil Survey Past, Present and Future, Jim Turenne and Maggie Payne, RI NRCS (PDF)

    RI Site Specific Soil Survey, Hydrologic Soil Groups, and Using ArcGIS Online for Soil Interpretive Maps, Jillian Phillips and Lorriane Joubert, URI Cooperative Extension (PDF)

    Soil Research at URI, Dr. Mark Stolt, URI NRS

    • Insights and Approaches for Mapping Soil Organic Carbon as a Dynamic Soil Property (PDF)
    • Development of Subaqueous Soil Intrepretations (PDF)
    • Freshwater Subaqueous Soil Survey Investigations and Applications (PDF)
  • Date and Time: April 11 (classroom and fieldtrip) 8:00am-5:00pm and April 12 (field installation) 8:00am-12:00pm

    Description: Bioretention facilities are rapidly becoming a mainstream way to control stormwater runoff. They are one of the most versatile new stormwater practices now required under Rhode Island ‘s 2010 Stormwater Manual. Workshop attendees will learn how bioretention facilities work and how they are sited, designed, installed, and maintained. This one and a-half day workshop will start with a classroom session, include a field reconnaissance of how these practices are chosen and sited, and conclude with an actual installation of a facility. Instructors are from the Horsley Witten Group, authors of the 2010 RI Stormwater Manual.

    Presentations are available at http://www.horsleywitten.com/biotraining/

  • Date and Time: April 3, 2012; 8:00am-5:00pm

    Location: East Providence Public Library, East Providence

    Description: The RI Residential Rain Garden Training Program provides professionals, volunteers, municipal officials and government agency staff introductory information on residential-scale rain garden implementation to reduce stormwater runoff. The training includes a classroom session and hands-on field experience building a rain garden. It introduces professionals to rain garden siting and design and helps prepare them to offer rain garden installation and maintenance services to clients and/or implement and maintain rain gardens in public spaces.

    Certificate of Completion: Attendees who a.) attend both training days and b.) complete a short take-home examination will receive a Certificate of Completion from the URI Cooperative Extension, certifying attendance at the full program and demonstrating understanding of basic principles of rain garden siting, design, installation and maintenance.

  • Date and Time: January 26, 2012, 9:45am-11am*

    *This workshop was presented as a concurrent session at the RI League of Cities and Towns Annual Convention

    Description: This workshop will present findings on the feasibility of utility districts in Westerly and Middletown based on studies now underway in those communities. This workshop included a discussion of State law and policy enabling muncipalities to implement utility districts in Rhode Island. This session was moderated by Ames Colt, Ph.D., Chair, Rhode Island Bays, Rivers, & Watersheds Coordination Team, Office of the Governor, RIDEM, and included speakers Elizabeth Scott, Deputy Chief, RIDEM-Office of Water Resources, Thomas O’Loughlin, Middletown Public Works Director, Steven Hartford, Esq., Westerly Town Manager and Caswell Cooke, Jr., Westerly Town Council.