Northeast Coastal Areas Study
Significant Coastal Habitats
Site 31 (RI)
I. SITE NAME: Areas North and East of Trustom Pond and Green Hill Swamp
II. LOCATION: Southwestern Rhode Island just inland from Green Hill Beach and Card Ponds on Block Island Sound.
TOWN: South Kingstown
STATE: Rhode Island
USGS 7.5 MIN QUAD: Kingston, RI 41071-45
USGS 30x60 MIN QUAD: Block Island 41071-A1
III. BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION: The general boundary of this area is delineated on the accompanying map and includes those lands bounded on the north by Route 1, on the south by Matunuck School Road, on the west by Green Hill Beach Road, and on the east by Matunuck Beach Road. Approximate size is 4,000 acres (1,620 ha).
IV. OWNERSHIP/PROTECTED STATUS: Mixed: private, Town, State and Audubon Society of Rhode Island.
V. GENERAL HABITAT DESCRIPTION: Upland areas are typical of the Coastal Plain of Rhode Island, dominated by dry black (Quercus velutina) and white oak (Q. alba) woodlands with pitch pine (Pinus rigida), scrub/shrub thickets and farm fields (including Canada goose (Branta canadensis) feeding areas). Wetland areas include ponds, streams, red maple (Acer rubrum) swamps, old cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) bogs and an Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) bog.
VI. SIGNIFICANCE/UNIQUENESS OF AREA: This specific area identified in the map abuts State, Town, private and National Wildlife Refuge lands. This area would add a significant extension of undeveloped land containing diverse habitats to Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge. It lies between protected land to the south and ecologically critical and potentially preserved land to the northeast. The State and The Nature Conservancy are presently working toward preservation of significant tracts just to the north of this site. The Nature Conservancy maintains a 90 acre (36 ha) preserve, Matunuck Hills Ponds, just to the north and east. Protection of this area would therefore maintain a significantly large area as undeveloped land. Factory Pond, in the northwest corner of this area, contains a unique Atlantic white cedar bog with a stunted form of the cedar and two State rare plants.
VII. THREATS: This entire area has a very high development potential. Development of this area would remove or degrade valuable wildlife and rare plant habitat and serve to ecologically isolate coastal lands to the south from protected and undeveloped lands to the north.
VIII. CONSERVATION CONSIDERATIONS: Both the conservation potential and the development potential of this area are very high. This area represents an excellent opportunity to develop cooperative management and conservation agreements among all parties and landowners involved--Federal government, State Fish and Wildlife, Town government and The Nature Conservancy--to protect this valuable area. This area would serve to link coastal marshes and beaches owned and managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with State wildlife areas and Conservancy lands as part of a larger and more biologically diverse ecological reserve.
Return to table of contents