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Hydrologic, vegetation, and soil data collected in selected wetlands of the Big River Management area, Rhode Island, from 2008 through 2010

March 28, 2012

The Rhode Island Water Resources Board planned to develop public water-supply wells in the Big River Management Area in Kent County, Rhode Island. Research in the United States and abroad indicates that groundwater withdrawal has the potential to affect wetland hydrology and related processes. In May 2008, the Rhode Island Water Resources Board, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the University of Rhode Island formed a partnership to establish baseline conditions at selected Big River wetland study sites and to develop an approach for monitoring potential impacts once pumping begins. In 2008 and 2009, baseline data were collected on the hydrology, vegetation, and soil characteristics at five forested wetland study sites in the Big River Management Area. Four of the sites were located in areas of potential drawdown associated with the projected withdrawals. The fifth site was located outside the area of projected drawdown and served as a control site. The data collected during this study are presented in this report.