Background

The mission of the Hoosic River Revival is to reconnect the community to a healthy, scenic, wildlife-and-people-friendly river, which will provide 21st Century flood protection and also enhance North Adams’ recreational, cultural, and economic vitality.

The 70 mile Hoosic River, one of the best cold-water fisheries in Massachusetts, flows through Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York and is healthier, more beautiful to look at, a recreational resource, and an economic engine for most of its adjacent communities. The Hoosic in downtown North Adams has none of these qualities. Our 2.5 mile channelized section of the river is unattractive, inaccessible, classified by the State as ‘impaired’, and described by the Corps of Engineers as having ‘outlived its useful life’. The community appreciates the current safety provided by the 60 year old chutes, but also considers them an aging, ugly concrete scar dividing the downtown.

Area residents want to maintain flood protection with a 21st Century system that will also provide connections to the river and enhance its corridor, supporting: activities like fishing, boating, biking, and walking paths; historical linkages; cultural events; community gatherings; and commercial development. In essence, restoring the river would contribute to our quality of life.

Given the community consensus about the restoration of the river, the River Revival has been working with engineers and urban designers since 2010 in order to assess the conditions of the chutes, and the options for chute modification which would maintain flood protection but also improve the health of the river, and create corridor enhancements, such as bike paths and accessibility to the river.

Given the serious climate resilience issues facing the city of North Adams and the focus of state and federal entities on flood management analysis and funding, the City and HRR are joining forces to address the aging dam, endangered bridge, and failing concrete walls along the North Branch. Together we are applying for grants to help us create a North Adams Climate Task Force and to assess the North Branch flood risks.  The work we have done along the South Branch remains relevant and important; however, at this time, we need to address the flood vulnerabilities along the North Branch.

In order to get a fuller picture of our major accomplishments, we invite you to ‘dig in’ or just ‘peruse’ the five reports/designs in the RESTORATION PROGRESS link:

2015 Phase One Design (one section of the South Branch)
2015 South Branch Conceptual Plan
2014-15 Economic Analyses
2012 Hoosic River Options Report
2010/2012 Flood Chute Structural Analyses

And we thank you for your interest in this most exciting, transformative project.