Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
Providence, Rhode Island
The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC) encourages, supports and promotes restoration and preservation of the Woonasquatucket River Watershed as an environmental, recreational, cultural and economic asset of the state of Rhode Island. WRWC fosters environmental stewards in the communities and builds environmental leaders among local youth. WRWC provides meaningful high impact outdoor experiential learning and science education using the resources of the Woonasquatucket River and its Greenway in urban Providence as an outdoor learning lab. The WRWC has been conducting electrofishing assessments since 2014 as a part of their habitat assessment based programs.
Currently, electrofishing assessments are conducted in the summer months with 3 high schools in Providence and Pawtucket, RI, 2 of which serve primarily urban students - the Metropolitan Career and Technical Center (MET), the Wheeler school, and Jacqueline M Walsh School for the Arts. WRWC also offers opportunities for community members to participate in “volunteer electrofishing days” with partners from the Ten Mile River Watershed Council. Assessments are conducted in an upper and lower section of river. WRWC monitors the Woonasquatucket, Moshassuck, and Ten Mile Rivers, and all data collected is submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. For MET students, electrofishing is an interactive field trip opportunity offered as part of a much larger, yearlong program called Environmental Leaders (EL).
Predicated on completion of independent passion driven research projects, EL students identify research topics that connect to their aspirations and interests, complete projects, and are assessed for quality learning as they share their findings with others. WRWC’s goal is to highlight the ecological importance of our urban waterways, and expose youth to what lives in RI waterways. The grant provides 7 new waders for electrofishing.