PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is conducting a habitat restoration project this month at the Beach Pond boating access site in Exeter. The project is part of DEM's continuing efforts to restore and protect water quality and native habitat at Beach Pond. Work begins today and is expected to be completed by early June.
The project includes the placement of rocky material to stabilize the shoreline and prevent runoff from entering the pond. Where native plants have survived, additional native trees and shrubs will be planted and designated with fencing and signage. Native grasses, forbs, and pollinator plants and shrubs will be planted throughout the open barren area to the east of the parking area. Foot traffic will be directed away from these new plantings and habitat restoration areas.
The Beach Pond boat ramp will remain open to the public during the habitat restoration work although, on occasion, the ramp may be unavailable for a brief time to conduct certain project activities. DEM established a freshwater boating access site at Beach Pond, on the northern side of Route 165, in 2015. At that time the shoreline was temporarily stabilized and revegetated.
The contractor for the project is RICON Construction of Cranston. Funding is being provided through the US Fish & Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration program.
The boating access site at Beach Pond sits within the 430-acre Beach Pond Management Area and is a popular spot for anglers as well as hikers. Beach Pond is stocked seasonally with hatchery-raised trout, and anglers might also catch largemouth bass, pickerel, perch, or catfish, as well as smallmouth bass or walleye. Hikers can access the many miles of marked trails within the state's 14,000-acre, mostly forested Arcadia Management Area, of which Beach Pond Management Area is a small part.
For more information about DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.