Skip to main content

Reconnecting Floodplains and Restoring Green Space as a Management Strategy to Minimize Risk and Increase Resilience in the Context of Climate and Landscape Change

Project Leader:
Project Fellows:
Project Investigators:
Cathy Bozek (The Nature Conservancy)
Kathryn Kennedy (The Nature Conservancy)
Kim Lutz (The Nature Conservancy)
Christian O. Marks (The Nature Conservancy)
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
New York
+4 more


This research identified opportunities to manage flows, connections, and landscapes to increase the resilience of human communities and ecosystems. This research identified dynamic and adaptive solutions to managing river flows that allow continued provision of valuable infrastructure services such as flood control, hydropower, and water supply, while also supporting thriving river ecosystems - both today and into the future. The research is directly responsive to the NECSC’s FY15 Science Theme 3: Climate impacts on freshwater resources and ecosystems, Priority 1: Effects of Climate Change on Hydrologic Regimes, Ecological Flows, and Aquatic Connectivity. The goals of the research were threefold: 1) Evaluate the potential impacts of climate change on hydrologic regimes, 2) Determine the flow regime changes that will be required to provide riverine environmental services and any risk associated with these changes, and 3) Explore management alternatives that mitigate potential negative impacts and improve system robustness. Project goals are accomplished by performing the following tasks: 1) Explicitly incorporate land use and climate change projections into hydrologic models to determine effects on stream flow, including changes in streamflow volumes, timing of runoff, and frequency of extreme events; 2) Develop economic and physical measures of floodplain performance that capture the environmental services provided and the losses associated with changing flow regimes, 3) Evaluate how the effectiveness of green infrastructure strategies, including floodplain protection and storage, would alter these effects, 4) Develop a structured decision-making framework that incorporates short-term streamflow forecasting, environmental services damage functions, and adaptive management strategies.


Bogumila Backiel. Quantifying Sediment in the Connecticut River Watershed through Aerial Imagery for Floodplain Conservation, American Association of Geographers National Meeting. New Orleans, LA. 10-14 April 2018.
Bogumila Backiel. Mapping Sandbars in the Connecticut River Watershed through Aerial Images for Floodplain Conservation. New Hampshire Water and Watershed Conference. Plymouth, NH. 23 March 2018.
Bogumila Backiel, Mapping Sandbars in the Connecticut River Watershed for Floodplain Conservation. Connecticut River Watershed 3rd Annual Research Colloquium, Goodwin College, East Hartford, CT, 21 November 2017.
Bogumila Backiel led a meeting to the Connecticut River Team on at the Nature Conservancy (Northampton, MA office). She discussed her results from her thesis regarding the river's sediment regime. November 13, 2017.
Bogumila Backiel. Modeling Sandbars in the Connecticut River Watershed for Endangered Species Conservation. New England- St Lawrence Valley Geographical Society (NESTVAL), New Britain, CT, Oct. 20-21, 2017.
Bogumila Backiel. Mapping the Sediment Regime of the Connecticut River Watershed for Environmental Conservation. Northeast ArcGIS User Conference (NEARC), Newport, RI, Nov. 5-8, 2017.
2017 EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, May 21-25, 2017
Abigail Ericson, National Science Center Student and Early Career Training - Nov 2-3 2016. Speed Talk
Abigail Ericson & Bogumila Backiel, NEARC Conference - Oct 16-19. Two poster presentation
New England Graduate Student Water Symposium, Sept. 9-11 2016. Oral Presentation
+5 more


Tool: ResSim Model for upper CT River for quantifying the Maidstone VT floodplain storage

Tool: Hec-Ras model for upper CT River for quantifying Maidstone VT floodplain storage

Award: Bogumila Backiel won Runner-Up Winner for AGU Data Visualization and Story Telling Competition 2017.

Award: Bogumila Backiel won the 2017 AAG Council Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper at a Regional Meeting, for her paper and presentation at the regional AAG New England meeting, and presented at the nationwide meeting this spring.