North Adams River

The Hoosic River:

We are working with river ecologists and engineers in order to find out how we can make the river an asset for our city. In other parts of the tri-state area, the Hoosic River, one of the best cold-water fisheries in Massachusetts, is healthier, more beautiful to look at, and a recreational resource for fishing and boating. The Hoosic flowing in flood chutes in downtown North Adams has none of these qualities. The State considers it ‘impaired’: too warm in the summer and totally lacking in habitat for fish and wildlife. We believe a revitalized Hoosic River would be a benefit to our residents and a dynamic, sustainable natural resource.

Community Life Along the River:

North Adams was once a thriving city because of the Hoosic River. The River Revival wants city residents to be able to reconnect with the river, wherever it is feasible and safe to do so. We would like the corridor along the river to be a desirable place for community gatherings: biking, walking, informal meetings, historical markers, cultural events, and celebrations. This kind of development would contribute to the economic health of our city by creating attractive pedestrian walkways that would encourage foot traffic between the neighborhoods, MoCA and the downtown areas. Additionally, local businesses would have opportunity to capitalize on waterside cafes and other ventures. Currently, the fencing and design of the concrete flood chutes serve as a barrier to any enjoyment of the river.

The Flood Control System:

We cannot take for granted that our 60 year-old flood chutes will always protect the city from flood damage. Therefore, given the age of the chutes and the expected effects of climate change on our weather patterns, the River Revival has hired engineers to assess the conditions of the chutes and their life expectancy. Working with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, these consultants will provide us with information on any modifications or upgrades needed to ensure our continued safety, with an expectation that any change in design would also improve the health of the river.

We invite you to learn about the work we have done in the past three years, to look at the pictures of the flood control/river revitalization projects that inspire us, and to share your thoughts about this project with us.

Please go to the Hoosic River Restoration Progress link for the most recent reports.