Housatonic River Natural Resource Restoration



Mass EEA


  Round 1 Implementation






Rare Species Recovery on the Housatonic River

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) has completed a two-year study of state-listed species and priority natural communities within the Housatonic River Watershed. The results of this work are described in the document "Rare Species and Natural Community Surveys in the Housatonic River Watershed of Western Massachusetts".  The field studies described in this document, combined with existing natural resource data, formed the basis for development of a biodiversity conservation plan that identifies priorities and recommendations for habitat protection in the Housatonic River Watershed.  The biodiversity conservation plan consists of individual reports for each of the 19 towns located in the critical supporting watershed. 


Housatonic River Walk
The Great Barrington Land Conservancy led efforts to enhance biodiversity by improving degraded riparian conditions while increasing public access and awareness through an improved trailway along the Housatonic River as a part of its Housatonic River Walk project. The restoration of the riparian buffer contributes to improvements in groundwater quality and surface water quality, wildlife habitat enhancement, and improvement of the aesthetic value of the river environment.


Housatonic Environmental Literacy Program
Led by the Massachusetts Audubon Society (Mass Audubon) and Housatonic Valley Association (HVA), the Housatonic Environmental Literacy Program (HELP) offers a multi-tiered educational program to the people of the Housatonic River watershed by providing educational programs at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and by offering free public canoeing programs. Additionally, HELP has developed a Housatonic River Curriculum that is available to educators in the watershed in both a printed form as well as online.


Old Mill Trail

The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) led efforts to create the Old Mill Trail  which extends along approximately 1½ miles of scenic and historic riverfront along the East Branch of the Housatonic River. The project involved construction of a 65-foot pedestrian bridge to span the river, a 16-foot pedestrian bridge to cross an intermittent stream, and elevated boardwalks over sensitive wetlands. Educational kiosks have been installed on both sections of the trail thereby contributing to improved resource stewardship through a more informed citizenry.



Round 2 Implementation
maintained by:
Stantec Consulting

Bartholomew’s Cobble Floodplain Forest Restoration and Habitat Improvement Project

The Trustees of Reservations restored 10 acres of floodplain forest habitat and controlled nonnative invasive plant species within 75 acres of habitat adjacent to the Housatonic River at Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield, MA. Over 1,700 floodplain trees were planted, and nonnative invasive plant species management reduced both the abundance and cover of invasive plants in the project area. The project was successfully completed in 2016 and, as described in the final report, increased the extents of floodplain forest and improved resiliency and health of priority habitats along the Housatonic River.

Sackett Brook Restoration Project Educational Outreach

The Massachusetts Audubon Society provided public programs, school programming, and educator trainings and collaborations using the Sackett Brook Restoration as an opportunity to explore stream ecology and increase the public’s knowledge of the Housatonic River watershed. Project goals included increasing awareness of the impacts of human actions on the Housatonic River watershed and the positive actions that can be undertaken to improve the condition of the watershed. Mass Audubon’s final report draft and extension final report describe the educational programs presented to over 1,200 school students, teachers, and the public between 2012 and 2105 as a part of the project.


Find out more

Additional information highlighting completed and ongoing restoration projects within Massachusetts and Connecticut portions of the Housatonic River Watershed may be found here:    “Restoring the Housatonic River Watershed


Massachusetts SubCouncil, Housatonic River Natural Resource Trustees
1 Winter Street, 6th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02108
(617) 292-5785